The Maynard Gang

Persons “from off” find our traditional speech to be most striking in its employment of metaphors, similes, sayings and proverbs and bucolic wisecracks. This feature of our communication may be explained by the many generations our forbears lived in close proximity to each other and how close to the land they lived in making their livings.

In my family, there are ten generations since John Shaver came in 1815 from Sumner County, Tennessee and a like number in Susan’s since William Stubblefield came in 1812 from Hawkins County, Tennessee. Most of the hundreds of Randolph County families that emanated from these pioneers farmed, cut timber, worshipped in fundamentalist churches, hunted, fished and participated in local community sports such as baseball. Their life experiences were similar and, until World War II, little influenced by the outside world.

There are many vivid examples of our classic speechways. Some of the more amusing and descriptive have been chosen within the bounds of propriety. Notwithstanding that preacher Fears and elder Harpole were once my employees at Maynard Schools, I do not want to be “churched.”

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