Friday, January 07, 2011


The last item on yesterday's word-verification list was "retsub," which happens to be "Buster" spelled backwards. Every time I hear that name, I'm reminded of a three-year-old girl who was our neighbor in Georgia in the early 1970s.  Her name was Shannon.

Shannon was the middle of three children, the one sometimes pushed into the background by the bright chattiness of her older sister and the constant needs of her baby brother. She was about to start pre-school, and her mother was worried that she would feel alone and afraid in a new place, among so many children she didn't know. It turned out there was no need for concern.

At the end of the first half-day session, the teacher reported that Shannon had taken care of herself very well.  When a little boy showed interest in Shannon's dessert, she scooted a couple of feet away from him, looked him pointedly in the eye, and said, "You ain't a-gittin' none o' mah pah, buthter."

We were new to Georgia then, still fascinated by the cadence of the accent, and when my daughters and I heard that story, we repeated Shannon's declaration over and over to each other. It eventually became a catch-phrase in our family.

Shannon would be about 43 years old now. I wonder if she's still in Georgia and if she has little ones of her own. I wonder if it would make her smile to know that three women in Louisiana still remember her fondly and still quote her words sometimes when the issue of sharing arises.


  1. I follow that all except the "pah" part... Too cute!

  2. Lovely story, Linda...I so enjoy reading stories about our younger years. I love that this statement became a family catch-phrase.

  3. What a cute story. It reminds me of Lily Tomlin's character, Edith Ann. She had a dog named Buster and was always trying to whistle when she called him. She puckered and blew, but all she got was air.

  4. Marion, it's funny how a phrase like this one or a constantly mispronounced word can become entrenched in a family's vocabulary.

    Holly, :)

    Writing MN, I hadn't thought of Edith Ann in years. I loved that character.

  5. Shannon, wherever you are, someone all the way on the north-eastern tip of St. America is going to use this phrase when the occasion arises too.

    Velvet, there's a film, African-American, where the woman said, "Yoh mah sweet-potado pah."

    I love that accent.

  6. Guyana-Gyal, I'm fascinated by all kinds of accents, and you WRITE accents better than anyone else. It's nice to see you here.


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