Friday, July 29, 2005

Another Southern Flashback

As a contributor that is currently living more 'up north' than down south, most of my contributions to this 'very-dear-to-my-heart' e-zine are going to be 'flashbacks'. Perhaps that is my place in this site. My posts will be the "Southern Flashback" sections.

This mornings flashback; Vanderbilt

I was quickly surfing some blogs when I read about someone going to Vanderbilt in Nashville for some medical tests. With that one word I was instantly transported back in time to when I started my job in Tennessee.

Around 1991 we moved to Nashville, Tennessee from Southern California. One of the aspects of my job there was doing a weekly bulletin. Because Vanderbilt is a very large institution in Nashville, there were numerous times it was mentioned in the bulletins for various reasons whether they were in reference to the college, the medical center or any sponsorships they did, etc.

So I had worked at my new job, in my new city and new state for perhaps 1 or 2 months when an older, fiesty woman came into my office to chat. She was much like the old woman used on Hallmarks Comics "Maxine" with the wirey gray hair and sarcastic wit. This was "E". I do believe she had some northern roots to her 'way back when' but she had lived in the south for at least 50-60 years when I met her.

After a bit of chit chat she unrolled the paper she had been holding in her hand while we talked. It was the previous weeks bulletin I had typed up. She had underlined any typo's she found (which there were a couple - I'm terrible at proofing my own work. Never could do it and still can't, as I 'see' what I 'think' should be there and not what truly is).

After a few compliments and telling me how wonderful it was to have me work there, and some other niceities she finally got to the point. It seems that in the 5 weeks (or so) that I had worked there, every time I had to write the name of this very prestigious and well known school and medical center I was spelling it wrong.

I, in my very northern and west coast stupidity had been spelling it 'Vanderbuilt' when in fact everyone knows it is Vanderbilt with no 'u'. "E" told me that 'everyone' had been noticing it but... in true Southern Charm, no one wanted to mention it to me! LOL.

"Well, bless her heart... she wouldn't know it's spelled that way. She's from the North you know!"

(And we ALL know what 'bless her heart' means in the South!) Bah ha ha.