Sunday, July 18, 2010

Memory Triggers

How many times do you hear a phrase that takes you back to a specific event?

Do you have any catch phrases that secretly mean something to only a few of your closest friends or family? Do you remember specific details and how this phrase or single word came to be that triggering mechanism of your memory?

One single word comes to mind that quickly takes me and my wife back to an occurrence while on a belated honeymoon to Florida.

In our attempt to find the interstate highway that would take us to our next destination, we passed a roadside vendor selling peaches. Not just any peaches mind you, these were being hailed as genuine Georgia peaches.

The sign that stated this proclamation read with a southern accent that matched the deep southern twang of the old country boy that was in charge of selling these here same genuine Georgia peaches.

To this day I am not certain just how close we were to the state line of Georgia, so we just took it for the truth and pulled over to see about getting our hands on some of them peaches.

Within just a matter of minutes we had made our selection, paid the man in cash money as was requested and stated on another sign that simply read 'Cash Only', and then we were ready to get on down the road.

Seems like there may have been some banjo music in the background but I wasn't certain.. but then never mind.

The man insisted on carrying the peaches to the car for us to complete the sale and being the good salesman he was, noticed our Texas license plates on our recently purchased, brand new, very first 'newlyweds' car; a 1981 Buick Regal with dark blue crushed velour interior that was highlighted by the then popular landau vinyl roof.

"So y'all from Texas are ya..?" he asked.

"Yes we are." And without missing a beat he replied to us,

"You know, I'd trade all my peach trees for just a one your oil wells...yes sir, every single one of my trees...for a single oil well."

"Well, if I had one to trade you, we might be able to work out a deal..." I replied.

As I was opening the passenger side door, he kind of stopped when I said that, but then quickly continued to placing the two small baskets of peaches on the floor mat behind the front passenger's seat when he remarked to us:

"You know, that's some mighty fine upholstery you got in that there car of yourn, yes sirree, mighty fine it is....well, I thank ya, thank ya kindly now."

We thanked him for his help and told him we would be thinking about his offer and we just might be back one day.

Upholstery. That's our trigger word right there, yes sirree, and a good one too. Clean up to today, some 29 years later. But you gotta say it with emphasis on the first syllable, UP-hole-stree...say it out loud now...UP-hole-stree, Georgia style.

1 comment:

  1. Great column, Jake! Love the end. You have that style down. By the way, UP-hostery is the way folks in southern Virginia say it, too. Along with am-buh-lance, chimbley and lye-bary. Plus, if you're planning on watering the lawn, you do that with a hose pipe. Keep up the good work, my friend. Again, that was a great read!