Sunday, November 26, 2006

Lonesome Traveler?

Over the years I've seen some strange cars at the North Miami Post Office. This one says "Everywhere I go I always take the weather w/ me". Well, they seemed to have picked a cool rainy week to visit Miami considering that this has been one of the mildest falls I can ever remember. I hung around for awhile hoping to meet the people, but I was left to assume that they were using the parking lot simply as an easy to find meeting place and left the car as they went elsewhere with friends.

After I headed the few blocks south for my morning coffee at Starbucks I looked around, listening perhaps for a dstinctive accent, but other than a few Hispanic and Haitian accents everybody else spoke the same universal dialect that has largely taken over the country as network television and movies have become the primary teacher of our children. That's been going on for several generations now. One writer referred to it as Standard North American Anglic to distinguish it from what the British call English.

When I was a kid growing up in southeastern Massachusettes you could tell what town a person was from by listening to them speak, towns only 15 or 20 miles apart. When I moved to Miami in the 1950's you could tell which blacks had decended from Bahamians and which came from north Florida and Georgia. Amongst the whites the New Yorkers here pronounced their "R's" but those from New England pretended the letter didn't exist, speaking in a fast clipped manner.

Those days are gone, long gone. And the car? I never saw it again.


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