Tuesday, October 08, 2002

WE MADE ANOTHER WEEKEND TRIP to my ancestral homeland, Pennsylvania coal country, to do more genealogical research. Some good finds: my grandfather Mickey's byline (M.F. Walsh) on a "Sports Shorts" column in the Pottsville Republican in the early 1930s, and extensive coverage leading up to the execution of Mickey's grandfather, my great-great-grandfather, Martin Bergen, who was hanged in Pottsville in 1879 for the Molly Maguires-linked murder of a mine boss.

Fun linguistic note: The coal-region equivalent of the South's "y'all" or "you-all" and New York's "youze" and Appalachia's "you-uns" and the all-purpose "you guys" is a short, simple "y'z" or maybe "yuhz." (The word defies spelling; CoalRegion.com's CoalSpeak Dictionary lists "youze," "yuz," "yooz" and "yiz," but it really begs for a schwa, as in yəz.) My brother Terence is fond of using that second-person plural in tongue-in-cheek fashion, and I had to suppress laughter as the waitresses and library personnel and assorted characters we encountered in our travels through Pottsville, Mahanoy City, St. Clair and Shenandoah gave us the full "y'z" treatment.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com