Publisher’s Perspective

‘Up north’ life comparable to ‘down south’ living


In my Gonzales wonderings, people have asked what I think of Texas, or what have I noticed, that sticks out that is different from my experiences up north.

With that in mind, I thought this week I’d throw out a couple of observations, compare-and-contrasts, and general idle thoughts out there for your review and consideration.

The first thing that stands out is boy, does this town love to play dominoes! I mean really play dominoes. I have seen people pull their own sets out in restaurants, coffee shops, bars—you name it. Got a table? Then let’s have a game. The other thing I noticed about this activity is not only does everyone here like to play it, y’all take it quite seriously.

On Saturday night, I attended a birthday party given in the honor of Debbie Bickle. While there, ol’ Gino came up to me and “requested” that I take his picture along with his partner because they had just placed higher than anyone else in the Hallettsville domino competition. It was a big deal to everyone who knew about it. Well, I couldn’t say no, now, could I? You’ll see their picture somewhere else in this week’s paper.

Up north, dominoes is not as big as it is here. Up there, you are more likely to get involved in a game of euchre or go to Trivia Night at the local watering holes with friends and family.

What, you do not know what euchre is? Well it’s a four-person card game that only utilizes the 9’s through the Aces. One suit is trump, and the jacks or bowers of the selected suit color are boss. Then…OK too much information. It’s a lot of fun, there is strategy, and just like dominoes in Texas, people who play a lot take it very seriously.

Another thing I have noticed is people talk about the weather just like we did up there in Yankee country. One of the more frequent things I have heard is that “the weather changes in Texas so fast that just give it four hours and it will change again.” Now that sounds exactly like the Great Lakes State. One morning it’s 70 and sunny, then in the afternoon the storms off Lake Michigan roll in and it’s raining and cloudy, and then the next morning it snows.

Yes sir and yes ma’am, we do have a lot in common when it comes to complaining about the weather.

There is one thing I haven’t quite figured out here though. When do you call a lady ma’am, and then when do you call her Miss Ellie (for instance)? I am sure there is some gravitas to distinguish the two, but I’d like to get it right so I don’t offend any of our fine ladies.

Further to the point, when do you start calling young ladies ma’am? The other day I said: “Thank you ma’am” to a young waitress and she responded “Please don’t call me ma’am. I’m too young for that. Ma’am is my mommy.’’

OK, I heard the rejoinder but I need to know what the correct salutation is. Help!

One final thought: What is your prediction on the Super Bowl on Sunday: Eagles or Patriots? I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but I went to law school in the Philadelphia area so I kind of like the Eagles, but there is ‘ol Number 12 from New England. And he went to Michigan. Hard to root against a fellow Wolverine. OK, I’ve decided. Go Blue!