Sunday, January 22, 2017

BW4: The Shape of Culture - Past, Present, and Future





Does when and where you are born really matter or is it who you are born to that shapes you?  How much does the culture of family, your community, your town play into your thoughts, ideas and speech? The south is ingrained in my soul.  I’ve lived in California now for more than half my life but I’ll always be a southerner at heart.  I’m a bundle of contradictions, my speech riddled with hey and howdy and y’all along with like and awesome and dude.

When I was in the fifth grade, we moved to California.  Culture shock.  I’d left behind friendly voices,  the refrain of “Y’all come back now, ya hear”  and chit chat at the check-out counter, exchanging it for bored clerks who ignored me while they chatted among themselves.   The kids all looked at me funny and asked why I talked so weird, their speech peppered with you guys and you know’s and here you go. “What guys and no, I don’t know and where am I going?”

I didn’t know I had an accent and that I talked with a twang, dropping my g’s both comin’ and goin’.  About a year after we moved, one of my sister’s friends called.  On my gosh, is that what I sounded like? Just imagine Hee Haw and you’ll get it because it just doesn’t translate to paper.  I was so happy when we moved south to Georgia,  back to the land of y’all and hey and friendly smiles.  No one was a stranger,  the ever present gnats at dusk making everyone think you were waving at them.

Football and bowling, stealing the other school’s mascot, cruising through Sonic and playing video games at the arcade.  Pigging out on Krystal’s mini burgers and Church’s fried chicken. All sounds a little like American Graffiti.  Carefree high school days.

I’ve been in California over 30 years now and the minute I hear anyone talking with a southern drawl, I slip right back into it seamlessly. There are times I have to concentrate, speaking precisely, reminding myself not to forget those g’s at the end of ing and that not everyone likes to be called hon or sugar.

And Lord a mercy, when I’m plumb tuckered out and I still have to fix supper; when I’d ruther rest my feet and sit a spell, and have my son fetch me a drink, I sit back and wonder why the gal at the cafĂ© annoyed me so much when she called me hon. 


What does this have to do with books, you ask?  This week your mission is to learn more about local and/or popular culture.  You can even let a friend choose a book for you. Either of which would satisfy a couple spots on the bingo card.  There are a wide variety of books to choose from. Check out Goodreads list of Popular Culture Books or Ideas.Ted.com Guide to Reading the World or watch Ann Morgan's My Year Reading Books from Every Country.    


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Please link to your specific  post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link to the current week's post.


1 comment:

  1. My review is for Miracle & Other Stories, by Connie Willis. I'm also reading The Histories (which I started on January 3.)

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