Yikes! "It's
a armerdilla!"

by Don Norris

"Yikes!" he said, "it's a armerdilla". Honest, I heard him. Lorry and I were out beyond Pensacola Beach, heading for old Fort Pickens where the army kept the renegade Indian Geronimo, when we pulled off the hardtop into a beach parking area. This fellow pops out of the little general store, peeks under my car, and yells, "Hey, it's a armerdilla". We Yankees know better. This here is an armadillo. Ain't it?

When we got to Fort Pickens, we could see across the Escambia Bay break almost to where my mother was born and raised in Pleasant Grove. One thing we learned over the years, when you visit home you got to adapt and talk like the natives -- or they'll take you for a Damned Yankee.

It's "a armerdilla". Really. Scared the hell out of us.

Author's footnote: My folks, Douglas and Ruth Norris, lived in a big red Garrison colonial on Cochrane Street from 1947 until 1987. Ruthie was a long-time member with the Melrose Arts and Crafts Society; Dad spent his life with Stone & Webster.

October 7, 2005

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