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Don Locke: Lookin Thru Bifocals

I’m picky when it comes to watching movies — I seldom watch new movies.  I do notice little things in the old movies that are not exactly right... even though there is not as much vulgarity in the old pictures.  That’s a plus.  

One of the first movie no-nos that comes to mind has to do with the Old Army Horse Cavalry, not the horse particularly, but the horse’s saddle.  

The cavalry officer rode a different saddle than that of the enlisted man.  The officer’s saddle was larger, more comfortable, and better made. 

The enlisted men rode a McClellan saddle...very plain and uncomfortable.  It was made of harder leather; smaller; it had about a two and a half inch wide opening in the seat middle, running from the pommel in front to the cantle in the back.  Ouch!  Absorbine Jr. needed.

Changing horses; South-speech is different below the Mason Dixon Line — but of course you knew that.

In the movies Hollywood-speech does not jibe with Southern-speech:  You’;; never hear a Southern farmer say, “I have to do the night chores.”  It’s, “I have to do-up the night work.”

Southerners say, “Fix supper.” Not, “I’m making dinner.” 

I once heard a put-on lady say, “No, the rooster and hen have already done that.”

About dinner.  We get some folks calling the night meal dinner; from the British.

Yet, after the Brits have evening dinner, a midnight snack, is often called “supper”.

Growing up, the dinner bell was rung only at noon when dinner was ready.  We were told to ring the dinner bell only at the noon meal.  Any other time it signaled trouble in the neighborhood, at your home, or somebody else’s home.  

It is interesting how in different parts of the U.S. folks speak with the same dialect.  

We had two ladies on our high school faculty; one from East Texas, the other from East Kentucky.  They both spoke the same flat dialect: “Nit, Fit, Rit.” (might, fight, right)

That’s perhaps because the folks from East Kentucky and Tennessee settles most of East Texas. 

We know folks put-on when they lack self-confidence. 

I once asked a lovely young lady on our high school faculty, what her cousin was doing now.  “Puttin’ on I guess,” she said.  

I’ll hush now.

Kindest regards… 


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