Thursday, May 5, 2016

Listen to this here album...

I seen this album and I decided that I need to show you so you could say you had seen it too.

Hulda looks like a perfectly lovely woman on this album cover.

But to today I had to deal with another woman named Hulda who had hired me to scan a few of her cherished family photos that she refused to leave her house.

A delightful woman, Hulda also possessed the absolute worst language skills I have encountered in a while.

Among the phrases that caused my fillings to vibrate were these:

1) This here is my Momma.

2) The cancer got her.  

3) The cancer took her to a heavenly place where she met Daddy.  

4) Jesus called her home.

5) That is Sister.

6) That little black baby was Rolly.  Don't know his real name.  Momma called him Rolly.  He did something with himself.

7)  You crave Dr. Pepper?

8) Why is it that?

9) House come?

10) All them pictures is in this stick thing?

I learned that Hulda was from "Oakland" the biggest city in the furthest reaches of Maryland.  "We come here when Daddy got a job in the ship yards during the war."   The family stayed.  Hulda's house was a town home over by Loch Raven Boulevard.

She talked about "the cancer" like it was an octopus out in the bay, its tentacles reaching out and taking her Daddy while he slept and her mother while she was in a nursing home.  She drank a 2 liter of Dr. Pepper while I was there.  "The doctor says it's a miracle that I ain't got no sugar.  I'm as healthy as a mule."

"When we moved here it was white folk like us.  Now it ain't.  But they'll have a bad time getting me outta here because I ain't going till Jesus calls me home."

She paid me my money, in cash.  "I don't trust them bankers in New York."

I asked her what she was going to do with the electronic images that I had made, but I knew the answer.  She was taking them to Wal Mart.

"Sister's great grandbaby is doing a family tree for her school project and she wanted something for people to look.  So this way she gets the pictures and I don't have to worry about them going missing.  WalMart's got the best prices and they make them while I shop.  You been to the WalMart in Towson.  It's fancy.  Has escalators like the big stores downtown used to have."

She asked me if I had gone to college and I explained that I had.  "Me too," said Hulda.  "Daddy made me go to Goucher."  This surprised me, because Goucher has never been an inexpensive education.   "I learned a lot, but none of it other than the music stuck with me.  They weren't my kind of people."

I asked what did she study.

"Music.  I love to play piano.  The classics mostly. I could have gone on with it, but with the world being what it is I didn't want to leave Pa and Momma.  I gave lessons for a lotta years.  You know, when you play, no one gives two shits about how you sound.  They only care if you hit the right notes and the piano is tuned."

She thanked me and walked me to the door, undid the six locks and I left.

And I left too ashamed to ask about the baby that did something with himself.


  1. Maybe you've been in the presence of a musical savant? Did you ask her to play for you?

  2. I'm taken aback about her education. I live in NE PA and as I'm aging I notice I've succumbed to the slang. I find more "dems, does, dese, couple a' 2 3's, sammich, buerey (brewery), yous guys, henna or haint it or no, Ma (for Mom), Da (for Dad)d'ja eat? No, d'ju?". A deceased in law would say she had the diarheeeeeee, which we howled about afterwards. Not that she had it, God bless her, but that she'd talk about it and pronounce it like that.
    Hulda's dialect reads as if she's mountain folk. Did it sound that way? Did she have an accent? I, too, wonder what that something was he done to hisself. And I wonder how her playing sounded?

  3. Well, Garrett County is in the Appalachian mountains...

  4. egad! hulda is most likely a (t)rump supporter.

    @carl - "geet? no, gew?"

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  5. ... ?
    Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms ?


  6. Nah, I was too busy climbing up da column bank (culm bank) which are still around here 60 years after anthracite coal mining ended.