Well, my wife and I have lived in Athens, Alabama for three years now and we still are amazed at the beauty. It is a pleasure driving through Alabama and seeing horses, cows, and sheep, not one big brick building after another as in Boston. Boston is a great city but it can be overwhelming and it’s too crowded.
I wrote an article early on about Northern dialect. Now I want to ask a few questions. Why is a grocery cart called a buggy? I always thought a buggy was something pulled by a horse. Why is the Southern term for a knit hat a toboggan? In the North, a toboggan is a large sled not to be worn as a hat. Why do you mash buttons and chunk things? Holler back at you is my favorite. The first time someone said that to me I wondered what I had done to make them mad. Finally someone took pity on me and explained that they were telling me they would get back to me.
My accent is still as heavy as ever. My lovely, southern born and raised daughter-in-law tells me she needs an interpreter. She just smiles at me because she can’t understand half of what I say. What I really want to know is if my Yankee status will continue to change. When I first arrived I was a Yankee. This was sort of an endearment, or so I thought until I realized that people were saying “you are not from around here are you, bless your heart.” Now my Southern friends call me a “damn Yankee.” I think it’s because I haven’t left. My wife and I love this area and think that Alabama is a beautiful state especially in the spring and summah. (Summer; oops, we from the North believe that R is a wasted letter not really relevant.)
Now let’s talk about hot dog rolls, in the south there are hotdog buns. It’s difficult to place a hot dog into a bun and then add your condiments; they are split in half and fall apart. So as a solution I have what is called New England hot dog rolls shipped to my house, only because I can put these on a grill and open them up add my condiments and then place the hot dog on a bed of goodies without it falling apart. The South is known for the biscuits and fried chicken (which are, of course, wicked good). In the past I wouldn’t touch chicken that had a bone still attached, and I’d never had real Barbecue. What we call barbecue up North is meat covered in barbecue sauce.
The only thing I miss once in a while is the variety of foods in Boston. There is different area in the city that you can go to and experience the different cuisines, such as China Town, Little Italy, Greek Town, etc. In addition to, of course, the Maine lobsters and clams you can dig for on Cape Cod.
My point is I am going through a metamorphosis. I will never lose my Boston accent, but I feel like I have come home. The people I have met here have been so friendly it’s like I have been here most of my life. To be honest, those damned Northerners are just not as friendly. Boston and New England have become a nice place to visit but Alabama is home.
As always stay safe and aware .
By: Jim Doyle, owner of Madison Security Group