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Texas German

Male speaker interviewed by Glenn G. Gilbert, late 1960s, South-Central Texas

County: Southcentral
State: TX

In Central Europe, German- and Czech-speakers lived for centuries in close proximity to one another, especially in the territories of Bohemia and Moravia. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, several thousand Czechs ("Bohemians") were part of a large wave of Europeans dominated by German-speakers who migrated to Texas. The German- and Czech-speaking areas in Texas overlapped to some extent, especially in Lavaca and Fayette Counties in the south-central part of the state. This Texas German speaker from north of Shiner, Lavaca County, recounts something of the ethnic and linguistic diversity that endures in this part of Texas to the present.
And are there also blacks around here?

Oh yes.

Can they speak German or Bohemian [Czech]?

Yes, there are some who know German and some who also know Bohemian.

German and Bohemian?


Are there also Mexicans here?

Oh yes, a large number of Mexicans are moving in to the whole valley. Many farmers move away and retire, and their places get sold, the land gets sold, to city people, and then the houses sit empty, and then Mexicans move in.

Oh, they're renters.

Uh-huh. They move into the house and work somewhere else.

The speaker is a 79-year-old White man with a college education from Crystal City, Texas; he was recorded in 1967.

County: Zavala
State: TX

Once home to a major World War II internment camp, and also the site of the founding of the Chicano Movement???s La Raza Unida party, Crystal City???s small size belies its historical significance. It is the county seat of Zavala County and has a present-day population of about 7,000. This area of southwest Texas is largely agricultural, home to a variety of plantings, including citrus trees and spinach. Crystal City, nicknamed the ???Spinach Capital of the World,??? has a statue of Popeye, the spinach-eating sailor, in its town square. In this segment the speaker talks about making homemade wine.
Inf: To make wine you, either grapes or agarita berries, or whatever you wanna make it out of, get you a keg, five-gallon, or ten-gallon, twenty. Put about three inches of clean straw. You wan-, get oak straw, but wash it first, put it in the bottom. Then just above the straw, put a hole in there with a little spicket on there, that???s to drain, drain the dregs off with, off the can. And get it all fixed. Put a layer of grapes or a layer of berries and then a layer of sugar, and on up to the top. Cover it up so a rat won???t fall in there or any flies. [Cough]

FW: What???s that straw for? [Inf: Huh?] What???s the straw for?

Inf: Uh, the straw is to uh, it kinda fill up and comes from I guess when you, when you draw it out, that???ll be solid, kinda solid and then there won???t be any wine down there, I guess, to leave in the barrel. That???s what that???s for [FW: I see]. And uh, put it in the barn, in a dark place. Better to put it in the barn so that if the preacher comes around, he won???t smell it. [Cough]

Inf: [Laughter] Okay, how long do you leave it out there?

Inf: Well, from six weeks to maybe two months. You slip out there on a clear day and then turn that spicket and taste it to see how it???s making. But when you put this in there, I forgot to tell you, always do it on a clear day. And when you are, and when you bottle your wine, do it on a clear day. If you don???t, your wine???ll be cloudy. If you make it on a clear day, it???ll be pretty and clear. Just hold it up in a bottle between you and the sun and it???ll just sparkle.

The speaker is a 68-year-old White woman with a college education from Uvalde, Texas; she was recorded in 1967.

County: Uvalde
State: TX

Uvalde is about 85 miles west of San Antonio, near the Mexican border. With a current population close to 16,000, it is the county seat of Uvalde County. The area???s primary industries are ranching and agriculture, and the main crops are vegetables and pecans. In this segment the speaker talks about the Old Settlers Reunion she attended in Camp Wood, about 40 miles north of Uvalde.
Inf: Well you see uh, you start asking about the jigging. Uh, every summer, every August, Camp Wood and, for the last five years, has had um, an Old Settlers Reunion [FW: Mm-hmm]. It was to stimulate the interest in that uh, mission they???re trying to get rebuilt [FW: Hmm]. And they started this up, and now it???s just grown to be um, well it???s just um, a settled thing. They???re gonna have it. And I???ve been on the program committee ever since the first one.

And uh, so we decided we wanted to have some entertainment, and for the h-, king and queen, we got that up, too. And they didn???t have any idea what in the world to have. I said, ???Well, if it???s an old-timers business, why we???ve got to have an old-time king and a queen. And we won???t have just a queen, like Rocksprings does. We???ll honor the old man, too. So we???ll just get the oldest married m-, couple.??? Well, in order then, after they were crowned, why we had to have the um, performances for the king and queen. And so we just got up all kinda things, you know, to, for the king and uh, for their benefit while they???re sitting there with their little crowns on looking so funny. [Laughter]

Why then everybody performs for ???em. And uh, we uh, about thirty or forty minutes of it, I guess. And uh, then, after the performances, why they???re escorted off of the stage, and then they have the Old Fiddlers contest and the Young Fiddlers contest. And uh, I don???t. And yeah, and the square dance. Uh, well, the square dance [Aux Inf: Mm-hmm] is for the king and queen [Aux Inf: Yes, it???s???], but they did uh, let ???em square. So they had just dancing so bad, they wanted to dance so bad they got to dancing before their time.

The speaker is a 47-year-old White man with a college education from Mauriceville, Texas; he was recorded in 1967.

County: Orange
State: TX

Mauriceville, located in Orange County on the Gulf Coast of Texas, has a current population of around 3,000. Its major industries are oil refineries, shrimping, paper mills, and rice farming. In this segment the speaker describes methods of preparing rice fields for planting.
Inf: Well uh, first you start out by uh, plowing your land and preparing it. And uh, ???course in uh, preparation of uh, land now uh, there are other things besides plowing to be considered. If uh, it should be land-leveled. And uh, then you???ve got uh, two different kinds of uh, leveling that???s used in this area in rice farming. You got your dry land-leveling, and what we call water leveling.

And there, there are two different methods to, to level a-, the hills and the high spots where rice can???t be grown. In other words, you can???t grow rice on top of a hill. So that???s uh, it???s not only plowing nowadays. It???s preparing the land by leveling it and plowing it. And usually you prepare your land and disc it down and build your terraces ahead of time, or your levees ahead of time [FW: Mm-hmm], before you???re, if you???re gonna farm a piece of ground, well you, you prepare ???em and uh, first you land-level. Plow and land-level [FW: (xx)] and run what you call a land plane all over the thing. That???s the la-, the purpose of the land plane is to level the land. The land plane is nothing else but just fills the low places and cuts the high places off and pushes the dirt in the low places [FW: Mm-hmm].

And after you run your land plane over there, then you re-survey your levees. And uh, most of uh, the levees in rice fields are run on two-tenths. And uh, in other words from your top area there, you run your terrace down two-tenths and then just drop it on down two-tenths on through your field.

And it???s the usual practice, when you first start out to going and build your terraces, then when you go back over again, that???s to keep the, so you already have ???em marked, so you know where to put ???em, you know, when you get ready to plant your rice. But you go and prepare the uh, uh, that???s usually called summer plowing, and summer leveling. You try to do that in the summer.

The speaker is an 81-year-old White woman with a college education from Bay City, Texas; she was recorded in 1967.

County: Matagorda
State: TX

About 90 miles southwest of Houston, Bay City is the county seat of Matagorda County, with a current population around 18,000. The main industries aside from oil and natural gas are cattle ranching and farming crops such as soybeans, corn, and rice. In this segment the speaker talks about planting her first rice crop in Lane City (about 20 miles north of Bay City) and later raising cattle in a neighboring county to the northeast.
Inf: And then in nineteen hundred and seven, we put our first rice crop in. And we put in eighteen rice crops [FW: Was that some???]. And then um???

FW: Was that some land you already owned?

Inf: That was up at Lane City. Up in Wharton County. Between here and Wharton. But they got water from the Colorado River. We had, oh they had p-, a lot of land up there in rice, and uh, they pumped the water from the river. And then they had two lifts, you see, to lift it up h-, the water higher, so they could put it out over the higher ground [FW: Mm-hmm].

And so then we went into, after we stopped, he got sick, and then he didn???t farm any more rice for several years. And then we had cattle. And then we lost so many of them when we were gone, when he was sick. And so he never was able to work anymore [FW: He was???].

And then, uh, in about thirty-, in the, uh, last, later thirties, why, I start-, we moved over on, in Brazoria County, Fort Bend County. And uh, we, I used to help in that store over there, then, would run that [FW: Mm-hmm]. And we stayed, then I went to work at Manvel in another store. And then after he passed away, why then I moved over here.

The speaker is a 79-year-old White man with a grade school education from Comstock, Texas; he was recorded in 1967.

County: Val Verde
State: TX

Once known as Sotol City, Comstock is a small town with a current population of 400, about 200 miles west of San Antonio and ten miles east of the Mexican border. Cave drawings and artifacts such as beads, baskets, and bones provide evidence that nearby caves and rock shelters were occupied over 6,000 years ago. Today the area around Comstock is largely used for ranching cattle, sheep, and goats. In this segment the speaker talks about moving cattle and references names of several local ranches and ranch owners.
Inf: For instance, when we went to workin' cattle, we went down the river as far as we could with a wagon, which was about twelve miles below here. And uh, that???s where we est-, established there, first camp. And we???d stay there, oh, usually it???d take a week, a week to ten days there. We???d move on up to that old _____ place, and worked the rest of it.

If we were getting anything, well of course we always had a little herd because when, uh, the cow outfits worked, why, all the neighbors sent in a man or maybe two men. We???d prob???ly have, uh, we???d prob???ly have about, uh, five cowboys and a horse wrangler and a cook. And uh, _____ would send a man, and _____ would send a man, and _____ would send, lots of times _____ would send two men.

And uh, then we???d get on up the ranch here, we???d work another week, ten days. Take about, take anywhere from three to four weeks to work from that lower end. ???Course we had to work a whole lot, all of that country where, uh, where the _____ country is down there and over wh-, uh, th-they, what uh, _____ has got, that was fenced off. That was _____???s. And _____ had a fence in there that run???

The speaker is a 74-year-old White man with a high school education from Brownsville, Texas; he was recorded in 1967

County: Cameron
State: TX

One hundred sixty miles south of Corpus Christi, Brownsville is the southernmost city in Texas, with a current population around 170,000. Originally part of Mexico, the area was claimed by the United States in 1836 by the Treaty of Velasco. In 1846 Fort Taylor, later called Fort Brown, was built near what would become the city of Brownsville. A long history of conflicts with the Mexican army, often called bandits or rebels by locals, started soon after the fort was built and continued into the twentieth century. In this segment the speaker talks about a well-known raid by Mexican rebels, referred to by the speaker as Carranza forces, on the Norias Division headquarters of the King Ranch. The raid occurred in 1915 during a time of ???bandit wars??? that took place from 1912 to 1915 along the Texas-Mexico border.
Inf: Well, that was at a time when the bandits, which were really soldiers of the General (Mafariti) in Matamoros, came and raided on this side of the river. And on w-, one night, wrecked the train here. That was in 1915 that that happened to happen. And then they raided the Norias Ranch, th-, up the line there, and in that fight, there was, uh, four of the bandits were killed there.

But there was bandit trouble all over this section of the country. And the Rangers came down here and shot lots of people, lots of them innocent people, of course. But that was the bandit trouble that you???re talking about. Differences between uh, the authorities here and the, and, and the Carranza forces across the river.

It was at that time that General Parker was in command of troops here at Fort Brown. And the, some of the uniformed men here on this side of the river had been shot at from across the river. So General Parker issued an order that no person in uniform was to present himself on the bank of the river where he could be seen from across the river. We had lots of troops stationed here at the time. We even had a company from the Coast Artillery out of Galveston [FW: Hmm]. They were pretty good-sized men, all of them six-footers. And uh, we had a crossing at the river here where you went across on rowboats. A little barge that you came down on and then crossed on a, on a rowboat. And one of these Coast Artillerymen was stationed there as a guard to keep, uh, soldiers away from the, from the bank of the river there.

It was a Sunday afternoon and I happened to walk down there. People could do something on a Sunday would go there to watch the traffic back and forth across the river. And these two Army officers, a Major Johnson and a Captain Hayden, they went down there. They were in their white duck uniforms. So when they arrived on this landing down there, this soldier came over and presented arms to ???em and told ???em what the order was. ???Oh,??? they said, ???we???re only gonna be here a little while.??? He says, ???No, you???ll have to leave right now.??? But they stayed there. So then he got his butt of his rifle and he started hitting ???em. And then he grabbed ???em by the collar and took ???em on up to the, to where this landing was, you know. And I was right there when he said, ???Now listen. If you people wanna go peaceably back to Fort Brown, go ahead. If not, I???ll take you to the guardhouse.??? And they left. And th-, their collars were torn open and they were covered with blood and so on. The only time in my life that I???ve seen a private soldier beat up commissioned officers.

The speaker is a 45-year-old White man with a college education from Waco, Texas; he was recorded in 1967.

County: McLennan
State: TX

The county seat of McLennan County, Waco has a population of around 125,000 today. Halfway between Dallas and Austin, the town was an area along the Chisholm Trail in the mid-nineteenth century. It soon became a transportation hub with several rail lines, shipping large quantities of cotton, wool, and hides. As a result, Waco developed into a center for industry and commerce. In this segment the speaker talks about building-material distribution and advertising.
Inf: I???m a advertising director of _____, uh in Waco. We manufacture and distribute building materials of all kinds, including Ideal Millwork, which we manufacture here in Waco. And uh, we distribute building materials, including CertainTeed, uh, roofing and siding, and Bruce flooring. And uh, many other types of products, which we sell through retail building-material dealers all over the Southwest. Uh, our Millwork products that we manufacture are actually distributed through three hundred and fifty building-materials drivers all over the United States.

Now it???s my job as advertising director to present the story about our products and services to building-material dealers, to, uh, home builders, to architects, uh, contractors, carpenters, and the general public. Basically, our program, our advertising program, is, uh, divided into two general categories. One is uh, our advertising to the p-, consumer or to the general public. Now to do this job, we use primarily uh consumer magazines. Magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful, New Homes Guide, Home Modernizing Guide, uh House and Garden, and books of that kind.

Uh, we run, ordinarily, we run, uh, full-page, full-color advertisements, uh, in each of these books during the year. Most of these books are what are called ???idea annuals.??? Uh, they???re published either annually or semiannually, and we run ads in each of these books, uh, which are circulated primarily, of course, to people who are interested in either building or buying or remodeling a home, uh, within a relatively short period of time.

The speaker is a 60-year-old White man with a grade school education from Fredericksburg, Texas; he was recorded in 1968.

County: Gillespie
State: TX

Originally founded as a German immigrant settlement, Fredericksburg has a current population of around 10,000. German was spoken as the community???s main language into the early twentieth century, when English speakers started to integrate themselves into the town???s growing workforce. In this segment the speaker talks about his days playing baseball in the major leagues, referencing several baseball greats, including Ted Williams, known as one of the most prolific hitters in baseball???s history.
Inf: Well it, uh the big league, I???d say Babe Ruth was up there. He was a outstanding star. And in the minor league was old George Washington. He was about the-, I???d say the best hitter I ever saw in the baseball b-, although he didn???t, he was a country boy, and like you always say, you can take the boy out of the country, but you can???t take the country out of a boy. And he, he was supposed to report to the White Sox. It was just shortly after I-, uh, uh, n-no, before I went up there. He wouldn???t go. Said they???d hunted him down and after three days, eh, looking for him, they found him down on the lake, fishing.

FW: Uh, did you play with Cy Young or any of those, or those, I don???t know a thing??? Inf: No, no, Cy Young, he, he was from the, oh, from the eight-, the late eighteen hundreds.

FW: Oh was it that long???

Inf: He was before 1900, Cy Young. That???s right. In my days there was uh, well, Dizzy Dean, and uh Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, and of course, (I knew) Enos Slaughter or (Kundis Slaughter) and Ted Williams. That Ted Williams, he was a screwball character.

FW: You ever pitch to him?

Inf: Oh, yes. Pitched to him two years up in the American Association. He was in Minn???apolis and I was from Minn-Saint Paul. I probably have some write-ups at home. He was uh, I tell you, he was almost a, an established star when, when he was only eighteen years old. He could do anything. He could???ve, he could???ve made a outstanding or a winning pitcher in the big league. Oh, he could play any position, except catcher. He could, well, he???d play, could do a good job any place you put him. But then he was a young kid, and he was good and he was a kind of a screwball.

FW: What do you mean?

Inf: He li-, well, he did things, I tell you, that, that puts a gray hair in the manager???s head, like uh, arguing with the fans, and somebody hit a fa-, ball right by him, an while he was arguing with a fan. So something like that. And uh, he???s, of course he was, he, he was about the best, uh, young ballplayer, he c-, that I ever saw, that come out, out of uh, out of college wi-. About the best I ever saw.

The speaker is a 66-year-old White woman with a college education from Fort Worth, Texas; she was recorded in 1969.

County: Tarrant
State: TX

With a present-day population of more than 700,000, Fort Worth was a north central Texas frontier town in the 1870s, growing quickly in anticipation of the railroad being completed from Eagle Ford, just 26 miles away. When the building of the railway stalled, the town???s population declined just as quickly as it had grown. The citizens of Fort Worth worked together to get the tracks laid, and by 1876 the first train came to town, bringing with it the expected settlers, industry, and commerce. In this segment the speaker talks about her family???s history in Texas during the mid- to late 1800s and references the railroad???s completion.
Inf: My grandfather, Captain _____, came in Fort, came to Fort Worth in the early fifties. He had f-, been on the way to California to find gold. On the way, one time they had to stop at some Indians. And after a m-meal with the Indians, before they parted the next morning, they saw the bones of what were really the man???s best friend, some dog bones.

They went on to, uh, California, but they were not successful, so he came back to Fort Worth and opened a law office. This was brand-new territory, and people here were interested in the United States and in Texas. The main thing was to get the railroad to Fort Worth, and they had to work together to do that.

Not long ago in t-, uh, an attic, I found some old letters. One of these letters was written by my father when he was in the law school at the University of Texas. This was in 1896. I was interested in the prices of the food. And here was one thing that brought it to my mind, especially. The breakfast was from 7:30 to 8:30 and consequently, he didn???t go to breakfast very much. But in the evening for supper, he would have bread for two cents, eggs for five cents, and steak for five cents, and coffee for three cents. That was his usual meal. Today at the University of Texas, it???s very different.

The speaker is a 65-year-old White woman with a grade school education from Mentone, Texas; she was recorded in 1969.

County: Loving
State: TX

The only community in Loving County, Mentone has a current population of 19. Near the New Mexico border and east of El Paso, the area was once home to the Jumano Indians, and later the Apache. In this segment the speaker talks about objects she collects, such as arrowheads and knives (most likely left behind by the hunter-gatherer Apache), bottles, and agates.
Inf: Well we uh, started to collecting um, Indian artifacts in nineteen and thirty-four. We came to west Texas and it was kind of a lonesome place, and so we just started to collecting Indian artifacts. And uh, we have, I guess, one of the best collections in west Texas. And um, ???course when we got tired of that, we started collecting bottles. We have a wonderful collection of purple bottles and just all kinds of old bottles. And we???ve collected agate. And have made, you know, stones. You know, you have to have a saw for that to [FW: Mm-hmm] saw your stones and polish ???em. And uh, I guess maybe we have, oh, ten thousand arrowheads [FW: Ten thousand, hmm] or more. And uh, I couldn???t tell you how many bottles. FW: Were, were the arrowheads all found around here? Inf: Well, most of ???em were found in Loving County. FW: And how do you find them? How??? Inf: Well, ???course the Indians lived in the sand hills [FW: Hmm]. And we just go out in the sand hills and, and just walk. And, but uh, best knives that we???ve found, we found over here in Reeves County, just across the river. And that is the corner-tang knife which they say a collector will, would-, may look a lifetime and find one, and we found nine.

The speaker is a 56-year-old White woman with a high school education from Big Spring, Texas; she was recorded in 1970.

County: Howard
State: TX

Big Spring, the county seat of Howard County, is 100 miles south of Lubbock in western Texas. Early settlement was due to buffalo hunters, and the town eventually grew as new settlers arrived via the railroad. Ranching and the railroad formed a large part of the town???s economy in the late 1800s, and Big Spring was known for its many saloons and gambling dens. Oil was discovered in the 1920s. The city remains involved in agribusiness and the petrochemical industries and has a current population of 25,000. In this segment the speaker talks about her family???s life in Texas.
Inf: My family, my mother???s family came here with the bringing in of the Tempe Railroad, in about 1890. Her father and his brothers had been uh, employed in various jobs in Pennsylvania and several of them came out with the railroad, came to Fort Worth, Texas, and then came on, followed the railroad as they brought it further west.

My grandfather came out and worked on the uh, as a fireman. And they moved here and then later went to El Paso, and then came back here and settled. And uh, we had uh, our town was made around the big spring. ???Course it furnished water for the railroad. And uh, one of the uh, outstanding jobs outside of the railroad at that time was uh, buffalo skinning. They sold the hides and there was a, it was most picturesque town, I???m sure, remembering stories my grandmother told me about how the cowboys would come in from the ranches. And uh, on Saturday, the, ???course the highlight of their Saturday???s activity was going to the saloon. And they???d ride through the town and knock down her clothesline and turn over her wash- [FW: Mmph], uh???what do they call it, that they boil the clothes in???anyway. They were a rowdy bunch of people, but a good bunch of people. And my grandfather uh, bought some acreage out from town and uh, farmed it as a hobby, and uh, became president of one of the banks here, after he had retired from the railroad.

The speaker is a 53-year-old White man with a college education from Brady, Texas; he was recorded in 1970.

County: McCulloch
State: TX

Brady is referred to as the true ???Heart of Texas,??? since it???s the closest city to the geographical center of the state. The area???s economy is largely based on agriculture and ranching. Brady has a population today of close to 6,000. In this segment the speaker talks about why he prefers to live in a small town rather than a big city.
Inf: Uh but uh, we are fortunate. Uh we, we are right now, as you have probably heard uh, we???re getting ready to build us a new hospital, which [FW: Yeah] uh, we need desperately. And uh, we uh, we think that we are progressive community, and uh, of course as I told you, I do not make my living in Brady. I make my living from Albuquerque to Memphis, but I live here because I feel uh, it is a good little community. Uh, it???s a good place to raise your children.

Uh, we uh, we???re re-, we???re, uh, uh, a conservative uh, part of the country over here. And actually I should be living in Dallas because it???s the center of my territory. But I prefer Brady. I was raised here. And uh, I think it???s a, a real fine little town to raise your, your family in. And that???s why I live here. Um, ???course uh, I may be a little prejudiced but uh, I, I was raised in this community and we have good schools, good churches, and I think it???s just a, an excellent little community.

We have um, uh, the best uh, deer hunting in, in, in the country, right, right here. As a matter of fact, my deer lease is only fifteen minutes away from here. We have uh, a fine nine-hole golf course, the finest greens in the country, uh, good fairway. We recently watered our fairways. And um, got a, built us a little lake out here, the Brady Lake. Uh, good fishing out there. So all in all, I think this is a fine, wholesome community. And I live here by choice uh, because as I say, I should be living in Dallas, but I???m a country boy. I work in the city, and uh, live in the country.

The speaker is an 84-year-old White woman with a high school education from Kennard, Texas; she was recorded in 1970.

County: Houston
State: TX

Surrounded by the Davy Crockett National Forest, Kennard is 130 miles north of Houston. Settled as a mill town, it saw a steady gain in population until the 1920s, when there was little timber left for the industry to sustain itself. The population of the small town held steady through the 1930s, but declined after World War II. Kennard has just over 300 people today. In this segment the speaker talks about her wedding and her life raising a family in Texas.
FW: You were telling me about your wedding. That might be a good place to begin.

Inf: Well, we married in nineteen and nine, in the year nineteen nine.

Aux Inf: On the fifteenth day of August.

Inf: Yeah. Fifteenth day of August. At the church, as our revival was going on. It was the third Saturday in Aug-, Sunday in August, you know. Nineteen and nine, and uh, we married sitting up in a buggy, for we didn???t have no more transporta-, no other transportations at that time. And eh, our revival was under a brush arbor. Do you remember, sir, things like that?

FW: I???ve seen them, yes.

Inf: And eh, it was a large crowd in the church who came out and witnessed us being married, sitting up in the buggy, but we didn???t get out.

FW: Now, why is that? Why, why didn???t, why weren???t you in the church?

Inf: Uh, we w-, we ran away in those times.

FW: Oh, I see. [Laughter]

Inf: See? We was trying to get away. We wanted to marry. I was, I mean uh, sitting up in a buggy because we didn???t have any more transportation, you see [FW: Uh-huh]. And that was in nineteen and nine.

Aux Inf: On the fifteenth day of August.

Inf: And we have been married up to this date, sixty years, and be sixty-one in August [FW: Mm-hmm]. And we went through two Depressions, raising our family, and we had d-, five children. And, at that time, our, the first World War began in fourt-, nineteen fourteen. Ended in nineteen and eighteen. The next World War, Sec-, World War Two [Traffic in background], began in forty-one. W-, when did it end?

FW: Forty-five.

Inf: Yeah. Yeah. Ni-, forty-five. That???s right. And in those times, we all lived on a farm, see. And we had a hard old go, but we all worked and made our living at home on the farm.

The speaker is an 81-year-old White man with a grade school education from Crockett, Texas; he was recorded in 1970.

County: Houston
State: TX

Located about 120 miles north of Houston, with a current population of about 7,000 residents, Crockett is the county seat of Houston County. The city is named after Davy Crockett, who is thought to have camped under an oak tree near what is now the town???s center on his way to the Alamo. In this segment the speaker talks about the horse-powered cotton gin and its dangers.
Inf: Well, it [FW: Is that what it was?] was a, a-, I don???t know hardly what you call it. It was uh made with a, uh, block-and-tickle [sic] outfit. In other words, this uh, uh post, big post had uh, threads on it [FW: Mm-hmm], cut around that, uh, and then the other thing fit in there that run it up and down. And uh, was run by horsepower. And uh, this uh, one thing, it uh, I remember about. This beam, crossbeam down there, this lever, uh naturally went under this crossbeam [FW: Mm-hmm]. And uh, a lot of times the uh, mule that pulled this thing around and around would get lazy, something or other, and uh, one of the boys or one of the older men or something or other would uh, ride on that thing and keep that mule a-going. And uh, one old fellow that was on there, eh, uh, let his leg slip, got down in there and this other beam come on there, cut that leg [FW: Mm] slam off. And uh, I can always remember of this uh, old one-legged gentleman hopping around there on that uh wooden [FW: Mm] leg that they had uh-, he bought it somewhere. I don???t know where it come from [FW: Mm], but uh, it was uh, quite a curiosity t-, to us younguns to [FW: Mm-hmm] see him walking on that uh, wooden leg.

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