Collected by Janes Ward Lee
and Ralph E. Roberts
For Mary C. Parler
Transcribed by Frances Majors
Conversation with Leander Witt
his son, Mary C. Parler.
July 19, 1958
Reel 240, Item 9
JL: Do you know that one?
MCP: You never did hear that one?
Son: I don't believe I've heard that one before. That's an old-timer,
LW: First tine I ever heard that.
MCP: Now it's your turn.
JL: Did you live in Tennessee?
Son: No, I've been there— been through there a few times. I worked
with a guy in California almost a year. I was with him every
day and night. He was a great talker. I picked up a lot of
his ways I never did get rid of— "Dollar and dollar and a
quarter." (With accent).
MCP: I thought Arkansas was pretty bad, that it could have roughed
other people's speech.
Son: Well, I don't know what brogue you'd call this part through here.
They never did learn English.
MCP: You mean they never did forget English and start talking American.
RR: Well, I'm developing the Arkansas—
MCP: You got a long way to go, Ralph.
JL: He sounds like a Yankee.
Son: Now you take people who speak English and they're as hard to
talk to as a Mexican, just about. In England, those little
old kids no taller than that speak perfect English over there,
and they don't know any better. They are raised to it— they
never hear anything else. It's as hard as trying to talk to
Spanish kids. They say a lot of things that I just can't catch
MCP: Could they catch on to you? Did they have trouble listening to
Son: Well, I imagine they did some.
MCP: Were you in the last World War?
MCP: (to Hr. Witt) Now let's have that. Let's have "Shady Groves."
Son: Your thumb string is off.
MCP: Ready to go with that ol d "Shady Groves" now?
LW: Yes (he plays "Shady Groves" on the banjo).
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