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C’mon, we all talk like this in Steamboat

A few of the things that must be learned to officially become a Coloradan

— People up this way think I talk funny.

I say ain’t. I say y’all. I say gonna and c’mon.

For example, I might say, “Ain’t y’all gonna c’mon and get some sweet-tater pie?”



I just think that sounds a whole lot better than “Are not you all going to come and eat some sweet potato pie?” Put a “thou” in there and you’ve got Shakespeare.

(Just as an aside. I don’t really care whether y’all wanna eat sweet potato pie or not. In fact, I’d rather you didn’t cause that just leaves more for me.)



There was a time when if you talked like I talk, people might think you were dumb, or a hick, or both.

Nowadays, folks are more enlightened so they don’t always leap to the conclusion that I am a dumb hick.

But they do leap to the conclusion that I am from Texas, and that I have a sister with both a boy’s name and a girl’s name, like Billy Sue.

Many a time this winter I shared a chairlift with a couple of tourists, and being friendly, I’d say, “Y’all fixin’ to do some serious skiing, ain’t y’all?”

At which point, the folks on the lift would say something to the effect of, “Dude, you must be, like, from Texas, huh?”

“No I’m from here,” I’d answer. “We all talk like this.”

Truth is, I’m not from Texas. I’m from South Carolina. And my wife, who is from Texas, would like for people to start making that distinction.

She would tell you that while Texans say things like y’all, fixin’ to and evil-doers, they say them with a twang or with a slow drawl.

Texans sound down home. Earthy. Polite.

South Carolinians, she says, sound like, well, dumb hicks.

Not that it matters. I spent enough time living in Texas that in terms of accent, mannerisms and attitude I’m at least a semi-Texan. So I reckon it’s no surprise that Coloradans think I’m a Texan.

Besides, it’s not where you were reared that matters. If that were the case, there’d be a lot fewer Coloradans.

What matters is where you are now. So, being that I’m in Colorado, I’m ready to work on becoming a Coloradan.

There are just a few things I need to learn first:

n A $300,000 home without air conditioning, mind you is affordable.

n You can eat eggs without grits, and bacon comes from turkey, not pigs.

n Subaru station wagons are cool alternatives to pickups and Suburbans.

n High school football is not a religion, but transcendentalist group yoga is.

n A pumpjack cranking oil on an acre of open space is one pumpjack too many, not 23 pumpjacks too few.

n Who needs Dairy Queen and Whataburger when you’ve got organic sandwich shops?

n Willie Nelson is O.K., but he’s no John Denver.

n It’s still too cold in April to run outside in boxers and a tank top at 6:30 a.m. to grab the newspaper.

n God didn’t cut a hole in the roof of his favorite football team so he could watch them play, he put his favorite team in a city more than a mile high so they’d be close to him.

n And y’all is a boat, not a group of people.

These are my thoughts. For those of you who find them painfully dull, never fear. Tom Ross a real Coloradan since he came out here from Wisconsin more than 20 years ago has returned from a vacation in San Francisco and his column will return to this spot next week.


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