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Story ID:9016
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Fiction
Location:Gilboa New York USA
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By Fred Wickert

I ran in to a friend the other day. We were talking about the old days in school and some of the teachers we remembered in common. I thought some of the things he spoke of were worth repeating. I am skeptical about some of it but in the years I have known him he has always been trustworthy. I have never known him to lie, cheat or steal, so I am not prepared to dismiss what he said, even though I remain skeptical. Some of what he has to say may sound a little strange, and truthfully, Andy does seem to be somewhat eccentric. The reader should also be aware that many of the local inhabitants speak an interesting dialect of the English language. Some of the city folk who visit our area have referred to it as “Hill Billy talk.” Indeed the area is one of hills as it is in the heart of the Catskill Mountains. Back in the pioneering days that was spelled as Kaats Kill. I pass it on to you in the dialect I received it in. As to the voracity of his recollections, I leave it to you to decide.

Andy: “Wall by gar naow. I do bleve dat dere ol slaughter I’m a seeins Fred Wicker. Damned fee ain’t.”
Fred: “Hey Andy, long time no see. How have you been?”
Andy: “passable, passable. What’s dat dere ya gotn yer hand?”
Fred: “Oh that’s just the school news letter. It came in todays mail. It has pictures of the graduating class in it and gives some of the sports schedules.”
Andy: “Uh don know what dis world a cumin to no more Fred. Hit surenhell ain nuthhin like it was in da old days. Back when we wuz in school. Dey done got so they got tree times much buildins dey had when we wuz young uns. Dey got tree tims as many teachers n janitors n dey had buffur too. Dad dang taxes dey goes up n up n up. “
“I member me n muh sister got Maw so dad burn mad. Maw she were Inute ya know. Kinda dark she was. Had a temper on her n I recollect. I member she had one uh em dere kiak thingamajigs. Me n muh sister used it ta go ta school dontcha know. We’d git iner top a Bull Hill Road and slider all da way down. Den we’d druger over ta da Manorkill, puter n da watern runer ta da resevoy. Den we’d take da resevoy t school house dontcha know. We even did it when da whales wuz in da resevoy.”
Fred: “Wait a minute Andy. Are you trying to tell me that reservoir had whales in it? “ Andy: “Yupper. Dere wuz two ofum till one got punctured and deflated. Went flats a tire wid a blowout.”
Fred: “And you and your sister went to school that way?”
Andy: “Shur did till we wore da bottom outn da kayak. Shuda knowed bettern ta go down Bull Hill roadn warnt no snow on it. Dat old Inuit temper boiled up then I gotta tell ya. Waal Fred I got ta get her goin now. Got tings ta do. Waitn I tell der old woman what da cat dun drugged in taday. She’ll be sprized ta hear twas you.”
Fred: “Tell her I said Hi Andy, good seeing you again.”
Andy: “Yah yu gotter. See ya yahear?”

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