Beth Morgan spoke at Mesilla Valley Writers about oral histories the other day and mentioned capturing colloquialisms. That brought to mind Montgomery, Alabama, in the late 1960s. My wife and I were newly married kids from Massachusetts, and Gunter Air Force Base outside of Montgomery was my first duty station. We lived off-base for a while, and one day I walked to a local mom and pop store looking for a loaf of bread. Not finding any, I asked a clerk, who couldn’t understand me. Then I explained somehow, maybe saying it was for sandwiches, and she said, “Oh, you want BRAYud!”
Another time I came home from that same store, and my landlady asked me what I bought.
“I just bought a pen,” I said.
“What kinda pen, Bob? A fryin’ pen?”
“No, something to write letters with.”
“Oh,” she said, “a writin’ pen!”