Monday, October 1, 2007


I was raised with functionally illiterate people. Just because they were illiterate doesn’t mean they weren’t extremely intelligent, nor does it mean that they weren’t learned in the local lore and crafts.

When talking to these old timers, I would slip into their way of talking. I was raised talking like that, and it was easy for me, and I did not offend any of them by talking that way. I’ve heard some of the best tales that were ever told about the local area, and the people that live here. I’ve learned many of their tricks for doing things that made their lives easier. An old timer always had a lead-in to what they wanted to say, and how you followed that lead would determine what you would learn. For instance what would your answer be to; “I never seen a piece wood I can’t split”. Nine out of ten people would be distracted by the grammar and start correcting it. A sure way to clam a person up. The correct answer would be; “Bullshit, I’ll bet you can’t split that piece right over there”. Then he would proudly go about demonstrating his technique.

“You could learn a lot from country folk.” But, you have to learn their language first, and their language isn’t all spoken out loud. You have to learn to read their hearts, and to “correct” them in any way is to disrespect them. Fortunately for them, they are mostly all gone. My loss.

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