Changes

“Hurry!” How many times have you used; or heard, this word used to denote the importance of expedient reaction to a request? “Will you come in here, please, and HURRY?” There is little doubt that the response is of extreme urgency. It has not been all that long since another term was used which basically meant the same thing; that being the words “Make Haste.”

“Take this cake pan over to Miss Mamie’s and ‘make haste’.” You were ordered not to dawdle or loiter, but to immediately return the borrowed pan. This term was widely used during the years of my childhood, and we all knew that when the chore was complete, another awaited us.

As time went by, this term was changed to “hurry-up,” possibly by the influx of different people within the community.  Different words; but the meaning was the same.  Special emphasis was also noted by adding the words, “and don’t mess around.”

Even though many knew correct usage of words and terms; they still applied the words which had been taught and used around them by, in many cases, uneducated parents and relatives. What difference did it make?  Everyone knew exactly what they were talking about.  Communication was no less effective.

Instead of parting with visitors with the words, “All of you come to see us again.”  It was usually, “Y’all come back now: HEAR?”  Not only did this apply to the individual guest but included all of his/her family, and it was a sincere request.

Everyone welcomed visitors; if for no other reason than to hear news of other friends, as well as, National and World news. “Y’all hear about Mavis and Jimmy Joe breaking up?”  “Boys’ll be home from the war any day now.”  Few radios; no television and limited newspapers, made this news from neighbors and friends a valued source of information.

Hold-over words from a colorful vocabulary are still in use today, not only in the South; but in other parts of our country.  Basically, the meaning is the same, although accents differ.  People simply find the easiest way to converse with others, regardless of whether the words are phonically correct or not.

“Bobby Ray, you run down to Addie’s and Them’s and borrow her food chopper. Make haste ‘fore it’s time for your Daddy.  Ask Addie, has she heard ’bout Junney Lou and Billy?  Go on now, and “make haste.’”
Demijon

TH’ SMART-ALECK

I’ll LEARN TH’ YOUNGUN SOME SENCE YET.

Rocky Phil done sont us’ens a “E-MAIL,” tryin’ ta show off. He claims ta know all ‘bout that new fangeled stuff whot folks wiff “computers” spouts off. Facks is; He ain’t nothin’ lik as smart as I is when hit comes to fancy words.

Fust thang he done were to spell “tawk” rong. Then he sez “log on” means to far up Susie Mae’s wood stove. Jus ‘bout everbody knows Susie Mae cooks wiff “karsene”. “Log off” be’s whot I does whenst I gits to th’ pulp-wood yard wiff a load.

“Monitor” is th’ boat whot fit th’ Merrimak in th’ civel war. “Download” ain’t nothin’ ‘cept whot I has when I totes Susie Mae’s fether beds out ta th’ barn, so’s they can air out. “Megahertz” be’s whot happens ta Lizzie’s mammy ever time she sprains her back.

“Floppy disc’s ” be’s whot you is got iffen you leave Elvis’s record in th’sun. “Ram” be’s whot you does to th’ powder jus ‘fore you puts th’ ball in yo’ rifle. Hits a “hard drive” frum hear to Kannapolis.

“Prompt” be’s whot yo’ techer done th’ time yo’ forgot yo’ peice in th’ school play. “Winders” be’s whot Susie Mae chunks her dishwater outten. We’ens ain’t got no “screens.” We’ens jus shut th’ shutters. “Byte” be’s whot old Pete do iffen yo’ mess wiff him. We’ens is got a hole heap uv “Chips” ‘round th’ choppin’ block.

“Micro Chips” be’s whot you gits whense yo splits literd-knots. Susie Mae’s been atter me to buy her a new settee so’s she can be “modem,” lak them citi-folks.

Old Dan “Matrix” were a batchlor. “Dot “Matrix” were Albert Matrix’s youngest gal. “Lap Top” be’s whot Susie Mae shells peas in. “Keyboard” be’s th’ onlyst thang whot he got rite.

“Software” be’s how overhalls feel jus’ ‘fore they wears out. A “mouse” be’s whot Susie Mae’s head looks lik fust thang in th’ mornin’. “Port” be’s whot them citified folks keeps they car in. A “Enter” – “year,” is th’ place; in yo ‘on’ year whare yo’ heres bess.

Whenst y’all’d ruther not ‘member everthang, yo “random access” yo memory. “Mouse Pad,” be’s lik a pallet fer lettle bitty rats ta sleep on.

I shore hopes this hear “information” be’s holpful ta learn th’ youngun a lettle bit uv sence but somehows I “sorta doubts hit.”

Jay Henry

3 Turns of the Handle

From the beginning of the Automobile age, we had convenient stations which supplied every need pertaining to our new found mode of transportation. We no more than maneuvered the machine underneath the shelter when an attendant, attired in a uniform, was present to pump the $2.00 worth of gasoline, check the oil and tire pressure, clean the windshield and even brush the floor mats with a whisk broom.

Many of the vehicles of the day were prone to “burning oil.” If the dipstick showed that this was the case, the attendant reached for a quart jar with a galvanized funnel-shaped spout attached and proceeded to fill it from a barrel in back of the service bay. On top of the barrel was a hand crank. When the spout was positioned, the crank was turned three times. Without fail, three turns equaled one quart of oil.

The jar and spout was used over and over, (recycled), as was the barrel. There were no empty cans or plastic containers to clog landfills. The supplier simply filled the oil barrel whenever they made a delivery of gasoline.
As a general rule; the attendants could diagnose and remedy many problems that would preclude a visit to the local mechanic. If the problem was not serious enough to require more than a simple adjustment, there was usually no additional charge.

Things changed dramatically with the introduction of self-service stations. Even though there were no paid attendants, the owners discovered that the revenue from the sale of gasoline alone was not sufficient to guarantee the desired income. Thus, a line of groceries, over-the-counter drugs, magazines, beverages and baked goods were added. Names like “Quick-Stop,” “Stop & Shop,” “Bee-Line,” “Circle-Q,” and “Whiz-Through” replaced signs that read simply “Al’s Filling Station.”

Tons of plastic oil containers, Styrofoam cups, cardboard packaging material and the like are generated from these convenience centers each week. Landfills are being choked to the point that recycling is being mandated in many areas.

Additionally, the removal of the wooden benches located underneath the shelter prohibits the gathering of local citizens to discuss any and all major news happenings, both local as well as worldwide. From these, sometimes heated, discussions came many solutions to political problems arising from laws introduced by representatives of state and national governments. The self-appointed designation of these unique groups quickly became “The Sons of Rest”.

The benches were generally occupied by the senior citizens of the day while youngsters sat on the curb at their feet and learned topics which were not taught in classrooms.

I suppose that it’s too much to hope for to return to the days of attended service stations; to say nothing of the $0.25 cents gasoline. However; it may just be possible to replace the plastic oil containers with a barrel and a pump that dispenses exactly one quart of oil with only three turns of the handle.

Another plus would be the installing of benches for today’s “Sons of Rest.” While their teachings would not replace the high standards of today’s schools, it very well could instill in the local gender; “A little common sense.”

Demijon

“BOUT’S”

I’m sure there are some who; when hearing the above word, will picture in their minds; a couple of rough-necks engaged in contest; or a round of ‘fist-i-cuffs.’ This is not necessarily true if the person speaking is the descendant of a society raised in the deep South.

By combining; adding or subtracting letters or punctuation, the same word takes on an altogether different meaning….

For instance; beginning with an apostrophe, it becomes a statement: “It’s ’bout time you got off your sorry butt an’ did what MA asked you to.” Add another word, a letter, along with a hyphen, and it can mean a direction; “Where-bouts were you going when I seen you yesterday?” By changing the first word, another inquiry is raised; “Y’all ain’t from around here-bouts is y’all?” Expand this inquiry with; “Where-bouts IS y’all from?”

If one needs to answer another question without being precise, all that is necessary is; “It ’bout’s supper time. Has y’all ET yet?” Then; there are times when a stranger, (usually from New Juzie), will ask for directions to a neighbors home and a local good-old-boy will reply; “They lives over yonder, (pointing); and hit ’bout’s ‘four mile’ from here to they place.”

Of course, at least, one ‘New Juzyite’ will attempt to correct our assertion of ‘four mile,’ and we will clarify by saying; “Hits a right fur piece.”

The main reason we feel that an explanation for the differences in our vocabulary; is simply that eventually; some folks (usually from New Juzie), will attempt to carry on a conversation with some of our local citizens. We will be derelict in our duties if we did not prevent their embarrassment when they will surely ask….

“WAD-JEW-SAY???”

Demijon

Perhaps we should publicize our feelings in one of their Newspaper’s like “Playboy.” At least; the one’s who can read; will know how we feel toward their contaminating our airspace. However, We are rather nice about it when we say: “Y’all come back; now, Ya’hear!!!” Dj.

Definitions

PRONOUNCE SLOWLY.

ARBITRATOR – A cook that leaves Arby’s to work at Burger King.

AVOIDABLE: – What a bullfighter tried to do.

BERNADETTE: – The act of torching a mortgage.

BURGLARIZE: – What a crook sees with.

COUNTERFEITERS: – Workers who put together kitchen cabinets.

ECLIPSE: – What an English barber does for a living.

EYEDROPPER: – A clumsy Ophthalmologist.

HEROES: – What a guy in a boat does.

LEFT-BANK: – What the robber did when his bag was full of their contents.

MISTY: – How golfers create divots.

PARASITES: – What you see from the Eiffel Tower.

PHARMACIST: – A helper on the farm.

PRIMATE: – Removing your spouse from in front of the television’s “Judge Judy.”

RELIEF: – What trees do in the spring.

RUBBERNECK: – What you do to relax your wife.

SELFISH : – What the owner of a Seafood Store does.

SUDAFED: – What you did when you brought litigation against a government official.

I sincerely hope you have learned something. “We Tried.” “T’aint our fault if you didn’t. Dj.

Demijon

Homespun Psychologist

I am not sure my Father knew that such a person as a psychologist existed; and yet, he practiced this art on us children almost on a daily basis.

We grew up during and just after the great depression and were very much aware that any available money was desperately needed to keep the wolf from the door. However, this knowledge did nothing to forestall our attempts to plead for 25 or 50 cents whenever a new issue of D.C. comics was on the rack at the local drug store. Perhaps even a schoolmate sporting a new sweater or a catcher’s mitt was responsible for our burning desire for a similar item; not necessary for our survival.

We raised most of our foodstuffs; such as a Hog or two for meat, a Cow for milk and butter, Chickens for eggs and meat, and a variety of Vegetables from our garden plot.

Lacking electricity or a freezer, the meat was usually salt cured and the vegetables were canned in mason jars to provide us with food during the non-growing season. Fruits from several Apple and Peach trees were peeled, sliced, and dried in the sun. They were then stored in clean Flour Sacks to furnish the family with delicious Fruit Pies. Many times, this was our only desert.

We were cautioned to be careful of the sparse, new clothing that Daddy managed to acquire at the beginning of the school year. He also saw that we had Sunday clothes, which we were admonished to remove immediately after church.

To supplement the income from the farm, Daddy ‘moonlighted’ as a blacksmith. He had a small shop where he spent most Saturdays shoeing Horses and Mules; and rainy days would find him repairing farm implements for neighbors. It was a rare treat for my Brother and I to be allowed to go to Town with Daddy on a Saturday. Of course; we thought that if we helped him in any way; we should be paid. When we would request money for something that was unnecessary for our health and well being, daddy would not totally refuse us.

His answer was usually “I think I’ve got a dollar.” This was his way of shrewdly asking us to withdraw our request. Not one of us had the audacity to ask if one dollar was ALL he had. We all knew better than to tempt fate.

You know what? It worked.
Demijon

Arrangements

A favorite expression of my father was, “I don’t do business, I make arrangements.” This was his way of stating that he lacked sufficient monies to conduct business in the usual sense of the word. His “Arrangements; meant to either; “Cajole an officer of the bank into a loan or else to work up a trade for whatever item was needed.”

This has been more or less a way of life for me as well. Although I have been fortunate enough to provide for the necessities, there was never enough money available to squander. When a car gave out, a trade was negotiated and payments were made on any balance. The bank account, if not overdrawn, was usually down to pennies before the next paycheck.

One thing which my wife and I thought we could not afford during the early years of our marriage was health insurance. The importance of this was revealed to us in no uncertain terms when we were expecting our first child. I distinctly remember that the cost of delivery for this child was a whopping $150.00 and the hospital bill was an astronomical $107.95.

We dined on potatoes, beans and cornbread for quite a while before we managed to save this amount, but finally in November 1954 we brought our son home; “completely paid for.” Needless to say, we began to shop for insurance immediately thereafter. The small premiums paid each month was much easier on our limited budget.

I do not remember the cost when our second son was born since we were only required to pay a portion of the bill, but I am sure that in 1958 the cost had risen substantially.

During their growing years; we continually had an outstanding balance at the office of our Pediatrician. It seemed that when we came close to paying the balance, another trauma would ensue and we were back to square one. Fortunately for us; however, he was a kind and understanding Doctor who did not press for immediate payment from any of his patients. He simply accepted ‘arrangements’.

Today the children have successful careers and we have entered the world of retirement. We have not forgotten the days of arrangements, and because of this we are able to cope with life on a limited income.

Hopefully, our children can remember enough of their youth to appreciate their success and realize that the necessity of making arrangements is sometimes unavoidable.

If they have learned anything from our mistakes; and have attempted to prepare for the unexpected, then perhaps they will be qualified to “do business” instead of merely “making arrangements.”

This could, quite possibly, be the only legacy they remember: but, ‘believe it or not’: “It could possibly be one of the more important lessons they absorb; from their days of; “Sticking their feet under out table.” Demijon

If The Shoe Fits.

Marketing has changed much during the brief span of my life. In earlier days, clothing was stocked by most ‘General Stores’ in a variety of sizes including half sizes in order to better fit the majority of their clientele. In today’s age of discount everything; it is rare indeed to find an item in our particular size.

I once posed the question of why to a store manager, when I had searched in vain for a pair of 42-inch trousers among scores of 28 inch through 34-inch pairs. “It’s a matter of economics,” the manager said. “By making more of the smaller sizes, they are able to produce more pairs from the same amount of material; therefore, the profit margin is higher.”

“But what about us big bellied people?” I asked. “Recent studies have born out the fact that there are more slim people than there are large people.” “We simply order a certain item, and the factory sends the sizes according to the studies,” the manager replied.

What happened to the Store owner who knew his clientele well enough to be able to order sizes to fit every customer. He also knew most of the preferred styles and colors. Although he usually knew what size shoes you wore, he nevertheless would take great pains to measure your feet to assure that the fit was perfect. This sometimes caused indignation when he informed a lady ‘that she wore a size 9 instead of the requested size 5’.

In many discount shoe stores today, it is next to impossible to find the exact size of the shoe that you like. Instead you are encouraged to purchase a larger size because your particular size has been discontinued.

Once, while browsing in a shoe store among thousands of pairs of the latest fashionable shoes, I began searching for the metal measuring device that earlier stores had at least one or two and I could not find even one throughout the store. I inquired about this from a clerk and was told, “That’s what the benches are for.” “Try them on and determine if they feel good.”

Somehow, I cannot rationalize that these sales techniques are better than to have your measurements taken and then being asked the one question; “black or brown?” In fact, I have never heard one of today’s clerks reply, when you asked for black. “NO, Demijon: Brown will GO better with that new suit you ordered from Montgomery-Ward, and with that pair of socks you got for Christmas.”

Recently, I noticed an abandoned store building being renovated. Several weeks later, I saw a sign in a front window that announced ‘SHOES – $20.00.’ Being a glutton for a bargain, I investigated and found that they indeed were offering thousands of pairs of shoes for only $20.00 each.

Diligently searching, I discovered a pair that was identical to the ones I was wearing, for which I had paid $85.00 and change. Needless to say, I was somewhat disturbed.

Now I really don’t like to pass up such a bargain, but I did not need another pair at this time. However, rationality raised its ugly head and I began searching for a second pair in, size 11-W. 30 minutes later, I found this same style shoe sitting on a box underneath a table. I grabbed the box and retreated to a bench at the back of the shop, to try them on. “Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and found that the other shoe was a size 7.”

Angry and sweating, I approached the manager to ask where the correct shoe was and was told, “We just take what they send us.” My next question was; “If I had purchased this box without examining the contents, would you refund my money?”

He pointed to a sign above the register that read, “NO EXCHANGES – NO RETURNS!”

So much for bargains.

Demijon

I can also remember when ‘BREAD,’ was an important part of the human diet and was far removed from the medium of exchange, stored in banks. Dj.

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Learning Folks

HOW TO TALK AND ACT.
Everyone wants to be accepted by their peers. Since many residents in the southern rural communities of North Carolina are transplants from other areas, it is imperative that they learn the correct usage of the dialect and become familiar with local mannerisms or else risk being treated as outcasts. For this reason, I am offering a course on the proper ways to converse and blend with the natives.

1.The first mistake most people make is in greeting a friend or neighbor. Under no circumstance are you to address another with the customary “Good Morning,” “Good Evening,” or even “Hello.” The correct criterion for such salutation when meeting another person is simply “Howdy?” or “How-Y’all?”

2.If, by chance, you are invited to attend a dinner and are asked if you would care for seconds; the correct response is; “No’m; thankee,” “ I’ve got a bait an’ it were good.” Never display your ignorance by asking for the recipe for the GRITS.> If your hostess has baked a cake for desert, by all means remind her that it is; “Almost as good as the ones that ‘Little Debbie’ makes.” Always tuck your napkin into the collar of your shirt. Placing it on your lap to catch spilled food will deprive the ‘Coon Hound’ (under the table) of a tasty morsel. If wine is served, carefully inspect the label. If it don’t read “Mad-dog” or “Roma-rocket,” graciously decline and say; “I believe I’ll just have a Co-Coler.”

3.Making a first impression is very important. When meeting a lady for the first time it is customary to extend a compliment. Don’t overdo it by lying about her looks. A simple statement to the effect that “You don’t sweat much for a fat lady;” will suffice.

4.To be accepted as an equal, your first obligation will be to purchase a pick up truck, (preferably a four-wheel-drive). Visit the nearest service station for an assortment of empty oil containers to be randomly thrown into the bed along with at least two old tires and a chain saw. Sufficient knowledge of horsepower, gear ratio and gas mileage will be helpful. A big, black #3; taped to the back window will certify that you were a Dale Earnhardt fan and is definitely a plus.

5. Memorize as many of the meanings of words and phrases used by the locals as possible. Words such as (A) MA-N-EMS, (Mother and siblings)(B) FUR PIECE,(a long, long way) (C) BELLY WASHER,(a two liter Co-Coler) (D) MAKING OUT,(inquiring as to your health) (E) RED MAN (chewing tobacco) and (F) ‘HANG – NAIL,’ (a coat and hat rack). Once you know the definition of these words and phrases, you can at least understand what the locals are trying to reveal to you. The following is a case in point.

Bubba: Getting out of his 4X4; “Howdy:” “How y’all making out?” He continues with “Yestiddy, I went up to Ma-n-ems; an’ that’s a ‘fur piece’ from here. B’then I got there, Ma, she made me put my coat and hat on the ‘hangnail’ an’ then, she handed me a ‘belly washer’.” “Man: That ‘Co-Coler’ were so good, I Jus’ ‘bout swallered my ‘Red Man’.”

See how easy it is? Call BR-549 for an application and you will soon have the ability to converse with the local gender. Who knows, you may even be accepted as “Jus’ one of we boys.”
Demijon

Don’t let aging get you down. It’s just too hard to get up. Dj

“Good Buddie.”

As a teller of tall tales, “Good Baddie” had no equal. Known the countryside over for his humorous renditions of practically anything, he was not above handling the truth loosely if it suited his purpose and added to the story. Outright lying was not intended but rather suggestions that more was incorporated into his tales than actually happened, emerged at times.

Once, while entertaining around the pot-bellied stove at the local barbershop, he was involved in relating an occurrence that he hoped would prove his proficiency with a 22 caliber rifle.

“The day before yesterday; I walked outside and looked up into the sky. There was a Hawk, up there, so high that he appeared as only a speck. Immediately, I said to my wife, ‘bring me my rifle’. She did so and I shot the Hawk.”

You could have cut the silence with a knife for several minutes until one of the assembly asked, “Did you kill it?” Good Buddie’s reply was simply; “NO.” Then, he immediately launched into another story.

The small town was anything but a thriving community, and the only merchant in town that usually had a ready supply of cash was the local Liquor Store which became known shortly after WW – II, as the “Veterans Drug Store.”

One day, Good Buddie had sold a bale of cotton and was on his way to the Liquor Store to get his check cashed. Passing the Barbershop on his way; he was accosted by the chairman of the “Sons of Rest” club, that usually held their weekly meetings in the shop or on the adjacent bench under the shelter of the Filling Station. “Bring me a drink, Good Buddie,” the chairman said.

Not bothering to stop, Good Buddie simply hesitated slightly and through the screen door, replied, “No’sr: The liquor that I can afford ain’t good enough for Town Folks.”

His prowess at farming was almost as well known as his tales. His description of growing potatoes on a steep hillside with the rows running up and down the hill was a classic example. “When times comes to harvest the potatoes, all I have to do is to hold a sack at the bottom and dig a hole. Gravity will do the rest.”

When asked whether or not the rows would wash badly during a hard rain, his reply was, “Yeah; but it makes a place at the bottom that plows mighty good.”

I am certain that Good Buddie had a serious side, but his humor was generally his stock in trade. Even today, when descendants of the “Sons of Rest” gather, someone is sure to ask; “Did you ever hear about Good Buddie shooting the hawk?

Demijon

Remember: ~ You don’t learn much when you don’t “PAY TAINTSHUN.”

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