Essays

Stately Issues

Thanks for sharing this!

Sometimes asking a simple question can lead to total confusion. In Carpenter Country, the latest foray into the realm of knotty issues occurred when the short one wondered aloud if after living in Florida for thirty-eight years she could be considered a Cracker.

As with any query there were a slew of opinions. Some thought only pioneers could be called Crackers. Others said native born Floridians held exclusive rights to Crackerhood.

In certain parts of the state, whip-snapping, cattle herding cowboys were known as Crackers. In other areas, a Cracker was someone who lived in a small cabin and was quite self-sufficient.

Then there was the Cracker vernacular. Did the short one know what a Cooter, a Piney woods rooter or swamp cabbage was?

She was pretty sure she did, but that got her thinking about the other states she’d lived in.

Could she be called a Cowgirl because she’d spent a year in Wyoming, and knew what the words nester and meadow maggot meant?

Or would five years in North Carolina absorbing phrases like ya’ll come and ya hear make her a Tarheel?

Maybe, since she’d been born on Long Island, the land of you know and you guys, she should stick to calling herself a Clam Digger.

Before absolute bewilderment ruined the entire day, she decided to cut through the muddled mess. “I am a clam digging, tarheeled cowgirl with some cracker tossed in,” she said with a laugh. Then to further uncomplicate the matter, she added–

–“Hey, you guys, you know we’re having leg of meadow maggot and swamp cabbage for supper tonight. Ya’ll come, ya hear!”

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