I have known a few people like Howard Thompson, having grown up in the same area as you. They are a vanishing breed. People who had little formal education, but so well versed in how to live life, and practically geniuses in certain areas or endeavors. Knowing a few of those very special people has given me a great lesson on not "judging a book by its cover." There are so many people in this world that have so much too offer, regardless of their lack of education or degrees. To dismiss these people, based only on their lack of possessing "a piece of paper," is one of the greatest sins that can be committed. I value having known a few of these very special people and the lessons learned from them, maybe, more than any education that I ever received.
Talent is God Given: be humble.
Fame is man given: be thankful.
Conceit is self given: be careful.