Recently I had to make a week-long trip to the Southeastern part of the United States. Something terrible is happening down there: The people are losing their southern accents. I suppose that with the advent of cable T.V. stations, satellite radio, and easier travel, it had to happen. The growing popularity of that part of the country as a place to live and work contributed, too.

A southern accent is the English language set to music.

With this in mind, I have decided to, occasionally; write an article using the southern accent. This is my small part in keeping a beautiful communication form alive.

Long 'fore we moved tuh Michgan, we had a cousint whut moved here a'lookin' fer work. We all got re-quainted wif 'em when my family moved here a bit later. I'm agonna, frum here on out, call him "Jess". Jess, he worked fer General Motors, where he had drawed a good check fer a number of years. He was married and a-raizin' a family in the Fenton area.

When I first comed tuh Michgan, I got me a job in the same factory that Jess worked in. I rode tuh work wif him 'fore I got me a set uv wheels. Jess, he took to me like a duck to a Junebug, jest a-showin' me all around the Fenton/Flint area az we wuz agoin' tuh work ever day. We often commenced to talkin' and one of his favorite subjectz wuz that there wife of hizn. I'm a-tellin' you right now, ifn hafe ov at stuff he tole wuz true, that woman coulda chased a buzzard offin a road kill jes a-usin' her face. She was coveret wif ittie-bitty marks where people had a-been a touchin her wif a ten foot pole. My gawd, she wuz a site fer sore eyes. Now, bless her heart, she couldn't a-helped bein' ugly, but she shore coulda stayed indoors. (Notice that I said "bless her heart? In the south, you kin say pert near anythang as long as you include "bless his/her heart") Jess went on to say that she had a-cleant up a lot since he met her. To hear him a-tellin' it, when he first met her she looked like she had been eat by wolves and chased over a cliff. He allowed that her face put him in mind uv a lard bucket full uv arm pits, bless her heart. A face that coulda made a freight train take a dirt road.

One day I got up enuf nerve to ask Jess jes why he stade wif a woman that bad. He said, huh, she ain't bad 'tall. You shoulda seed muh first wife. I didn't have the nerve to ask, but he commenced directly. He allowed how his first wife wuzn't the ugliest woman he'd ever met, but she wuz the meanest. He tolt me that woman wuz so mean, she once spent three days jist a argein' wif a fence post. She'd a stomped a mudhole in yer butt and walked it dry, jes fer the fun uv it. He went on 'bout how biggity she was always a-actin'. He allowed how she'd walk aroun wif her nose stuck so fur in the air, she'd a-drowned ifn it hada rained. He tolt how she wuz always a-actin' like she had two pair ov britches er sumpin. He follered wif how she'd lie when the truth woulda saved her. Said she would pee down yer back and swear tuh yuh that it wuz a-rainin'.

One day, on thuh way tuh work, I asked Jess, "Jess, I know where yer first wife wuz mean, and yer secon wife wuz ugly, but I do thank that I'da tuck mean over ugly.

Jess didn say much fer a couple of miles, then he commenced. Yeah, but I got home frum work one day, and that mean first wif ov mine had done up und runt oft wiff an ole boy. Tuck most uv mine and all of hern wif her. I tolt musef rat then and ther, if'n I ever marry 'gain, I'm a-gonna find me a woman what is so ugly, no other man wif good eyes 'll ever look at her.

He did, and they lived almost 40 good years together.

©Reese McCoy
Used With Permission
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