You Never Know

Seasons come and they go.

It’s a funny thing. A couple people told me to stay safe during Hurricane Delta even though I said it was nowhere near us. I suppose most people don’t really understand Louisiana’s geography. New Orleans is about 300 miles east of Lake Charles, where a hurricane will hit for the third time in about two months.

People there are digging in. They aren’t evacuating this time. They say that they are tired of running.

I understand.

During the summer of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was hit by three hurricanes. The first one, called Cindy, was first thought to be a tropical storm. She was later upgraded to a hurricane. Katrina, you know about. Along came Rita which more-or-less just raked the coast.

By the time Rita arrived, I wasn’t scared. I was angry. I was so tired of packing essentials and driving to somewhere, destination unknown.

Another funny thing happened this morning. The New York Times published a little quiz. They gave you 20 words to pronounce in certain ways. From that they would predict where you were from. I’m such a mutt that I talk about different things in different ways.

Sometimes, I call a four line highway with very few exits an interstate. Sometimes, my Southern Californian kicks in and I call it a freeway. And sometimes, I call it a highway.

It’s the same with a lot of other words. In New Orleans, the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street is called a banquette. I just call it, that strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street.


After twenty questions, The New York Times determined I was from one of three places. Winston-Salem, Richmond or Mobile.

Mobile? I’ve passed through there probably about ten times on my way to someplace else. I’ve never even stopped there for gas.

Winston-Salem and Richmond sort of make sense. I worked in both cities for about an hour or so. Kidding, about a year in each place.

Still, I have a Brooklyn accent that sounds like a New Orleans 7th Ward accent. I have that because of a quirk in shipping history. The two biggest pre-Civil War shipping ports were Brooklyn and New Orleans. Sailors passed through both cities.

Since a good portion of my professional life was lived somewhere in the South, my phrasing has softened some. For instance, I say y’all instead of youse guys. Actually, I don’t think I ever said youse guys. I said you guys.

What about you guys? What are some of your regional tells?

One more thing.

This damn block system is going to kill me yet. Try copy editing. Pick something to rework. A pink box pops up. Hit any word, anywhere in the box and all your work disappears. Poof. Gone.

If any of you bastards at WordPress read Storyteller, stop screwing around with all of us. I can’t think of one person in my community who likes the black system. If I find another place to go, community or not, I’m gone.

Having said that, after a few minutes of panic I realized that I could go to all posts in the far left column, click on draft and a version of the story would be there.

Of course, WordPress pop ups tell me not to do that or I would lose everything. Oh gee. The stuff that I already lost.

And, once you do it, they want you to go back to the version that you just lost. One more thing, you have to reschedule the post and reset tags.

The picture. Before I get to that, here’s one more complaint for the drones at WordPress. Why, when you insert a drop cap does the first letter of the word go to the end of the sentence? Leave it alone.

That wasn’t about the picture.

This is.

I saw it, I photographed it. There is very little post production beyond basic development needed in this picture.

See how easy that was?

The content is sort of right because the leaves are in transition. In a week there will be more orange than green. Then there will be holes where the orange leaves have died and stopped off.

A cycle of life.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Look after each other. Don’t believe the propaganda on Facebook. Wear your mask.



4 responses to “You Never Know”

  1. Laura Denise Avatar

    Haha, loved the explanation for your photo composition 😂, “tell me about it” regarding WP 🤬, and there is no alternative for me for “you guys,” which I type every day in my remote group chats (and worry if I’m going to be called sexist for it these days) as a teacher in FL who grew up in the Chicago suburbs—no telling what these “y’all” teens think about that; I actually tried to intentionally say “y’all” in class, but they said I’m pronouncing it incorrectly! 😂 Relatable post on all accounts!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      I googled block system awhile back. It is a system that European designers use rather than the grid system. WordPress thinks that we are all designers. Most aren’t. They seemed determined to go down this road even when so many people don’t want it.

      I don’t think your students care. In New York, you guys is not really gender specific even though, guy normally is.

      I say y’all, but there are many ways of pronouncing it, even within the city itself, just like there are many ways of pronouncing New Orleans.


  2. Kim of Glover Gardens Avatar

    My regional tell is y’all, and sometimes, for fun, I even use “all y’all”. I have worked really hard to not have a thick drawl because of my public speaking, but can slip easily into it, just for fun. Definitely a relatable post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      A lot of people here say “all y’all.” I should say that many older people do that. If NOJO gets tired she slips into Texan.

      Liked by 1 person

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