Tuesday, October 31, 2006


In the lexicon of my youth, a lake was a tidal flat surrounded by marsh, the only bayou I knew was a Gulf pass, and anyone who wanted to go skiing needed a boat.

A "coke" might have been a Diet Coke, or a root beer or a Sprite. But it was probably a Dr. Pepper.

Getting a double meant taking two ducks with one shot.

Where I grew up, we went to the movies at Cinema 35 ... so-named not because it was a multiplex with nearly three dozen screens, but because it sat alongside State Highway 35.

The movie changed on Thursdays, as I recall.

When I was a kid, going "out to eat" meant a trip to Whataburger or Dairy Queen. I thought we fished because we were sportsmen and ate a lot of fried chicken because we were Southerners. I later figured-out we were just poor.

Our parents gave us a lot of love and free reign to roam as far as our sturdy dirt bikes could take us -- so long as we were home by supper.

The shitty tourists were snowbirds and snowy seagulls were shitbirds. Dark, diving anhingas were water turkeys, but the other kind -- the kind we ate at Thanksgiving -- lived in the woods on the other side of the bay.

Pinfish were perch, but so were pigfish, though neither are, really. Cleats were found on the decks of sailboats, though there may also have been some on a playing field somewhere.

If we were on the verge of doing something, we were "fixing to" do it. If we'd already done it, and it was an adolescent misdemeanor and we were caught, the cop was "fixing to" call our parents if we didn't high-tail it home and stay there the rest of the night.

In those days, "family" meant the folks and my siblings, but also all the crazy old aunts and uncles, scores of cousins and everyone's grandparents.

It still does.

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