Es Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Eck

(Originally published in the December 10, 1980 issue of The Shopping News)


Green Dragon

By E.G. Weber

Friehyaahr, Summer, Schpotyaahr, Winder,

Alle Freidaag brecht’s los!

Noch Green Dragon geht die Schpur:

Alle Lane un Weg un Schtrooss.


Trucks mit Sei un Kieh un Kelwer,

Trucks mit Holz un Hoi un Schtroh.

Trucks mit Obscht un Wassermelone

Un Gedoffle findt mer do.


Deel kumme mit Gaul un Waage,

Mit Bicycles un deel laafe.

Un deel mit der Gas Maschien

Fer zu kaafe un verkaafe.


Un deel yuscht fer der Daag abnemme

Un gut Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch esse,

Un psuche un blaudere mit ennanner:

No geht nix so gern vergesse!


Do sehnt mer alle Sadde Leit:

Deel schwatz un deel weiss.

Deel sin so wiescht un eegesinnisch

Un anneri sin so neis!


Deel sin so yung un eiferich,

Die hie un do rummrenne.

Un deel so alt un elendich,

Die schier net laffe kenne.


Datt geht en Mann uffgebutzt,

En rechder Gentleman.

Er hot keh Runzle uf seim Gsicht:

Er hot yo Lots vun Fun.


Un datt sin zwee so yunge Leit:

Sin’s Buwe odder sin’s Meed?

Hen alle zwee lange Hosse aa,

Keh Mensch as des verschteht!


Hen alle zwee so lange Haar,

Geht iwwer die Axle nunner.

Der Wege as sie am Schmunzle sin,

Sin sie en Paar? Ich wunner!


Ei, was scheener Zellerich,

Wu hen dir den dann gfunne?

Ei, seller Weg halt yuscht aa laafe,

Sie hen noch meh datt drunne!


Guck, wie viel gut Sach hen sie do!

S guckt schenner wie en Pickder Show:

Schunkefleesch un Seideschpeck,

Brod un Pei un siessi-Weck.


Grummbiere, Oranges, Salaad un Grautkepp,

Un Schnitz fer in der Schnitz un Gnepp,

Un Bananas un Drauwe un viele meh -

Wann’d Geld hoscht, brauchscht net hungerich geh!


Du kannscht des kaafe es ganz Yaahr rum,

Wasewwer as waxt unnich der Sunn.

Vor alders waar’s en anneri Sach:

Dei Lewesmiddel waar unnich dei eegne Dach.


Sis net gschippt warre vun Shore zu Shore;

Hoscht yuscht ghat was in Season waar.

Du hoscht Sach aweck geduh in Summer:

Was net ghat, hoscht duh kenne drunner!


Fer Geld schpende waar en wieschdes Watt -

Die Ursach waar: du hoscht kens ghat!

So losst uns net vergesse, dankbaar sei

Fer was mer noch hen in der Esserei.


Green Dragon


Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter,

Every Friday, it breaks loose!

To Green Dragon leads the trail:

Every land and street and road.


Trucks with pigs and cows and calves,

Trucks with wood and hay and straw.

Trucks with fruit and watermelons

And potatoes you will find here.


Some come with horse and wagon,

Some with bicycles and some walk.

And some with gas machines,

Some to buy and some to sell.


And some just to take the day off

And eat good Pennsylvania Dutch food,

And visit and talk with each other:

So that nothing is forgotten!


Here you see all sorts of people:

Some are black and some are white.

Some are ugly and selfish

And others are so nice!


Some are young and full of pep

As they run to and fro.

And some are old and sickly:

They can hardly walk or go.


There goes a well groomed man,

A real gentleman.

He has no wrinkle on his face:

He is having lots of fun.


And there are two such young folks:

Are they boys or are they girls?

All two have long pants on,

This nobody can understand.


They both have such long hair,

Way down over their shoulders.

Look the way they are snuggling,

Are they a pair? I wonder!


My, look what nice celery!

Where did you this then find?

Why, that way, just keep on walking,

They still have more down there.


Look, how many good things are here!

It looks prettier than a picture show:

They have ham and bacon,

Bread and pie and sweet buns.


Potatoes, oranges, lettuce and cabbage-heads,

And snitz for the snitz and gnepp,

And bananas and grapes and lots more -

If you have money, you don’t have to go hungry!


You can buy this the year round,

Whatever grows under the sun.

Years ago this was a different story:

Your victuals were under your own roof.


It wasn’t shipped from shore to shore;

You had only what was in season.

In summer you stored away your food:

What you didn’t have, you could do without!


To spend money was an ugly word -

The reason was: you didn’t have much!

So let us not forget to be thankful

For what we have in victuals.


The Green Dragon! To those of us who have grown up in the shadow of the Ephrata Cloister, the Green Dragon has long been a source of fascination and mystery! We have seen it grow and flourish from year to year spreading its encircling arms ever wider. The Green Dragon remains a source of excellent foods and hard to find books. Seek and ye shall find! And we never come away without having had at least one chat in Dutch with some old friend. One of the special pleasures is to meet and chat with Harry Stauffer of Farmersville, a master craftsman long associated with the restoration of the press at the Ephrata Cloister.

When we think of the Green Dragon, we think of Larry Loose, the co-owner, our fellow guide at the Cloister, when he was a student at Franklin and Marshall and I at Penn State. Those were delightful days! (These days, we take our students on field trips to the Cloister, where Marjorie Auker and Clarence Spohn now serve as the professional guides.)

And then there’s always a short visit - un datt watt aa Deitsch gebabbelt - at the candy stand of Beulah and Harry Leibold of Adamstown. We shall never forget the olden days in the former Muddy Creek Reformed choir, when Beulah was our leading soprano. Mei, was hen mer net gsunge!

There are so many names and stands which could be mentioned at Green Dragon; It would be impossible to mention them all. However, we must not forget to send our very best greetings to Dan Brubaker, der Ebbelmann, whose produce has been a joy to thousands far and near. For many years Dan successfully conducted the Pennsylvania Dutch class at spelling bees in these parts.

The Green Dragon, an institution very near to our hearts (and our stomachs), indeed. For us every visit is a homecoming, a return to our roots. We wish the owners and operators many years of success in the days and years to come!

Again, we are indebted to “Der Alt Weiss Kopp”, Ed Weber, for this ode to the Green Dragon. We hope our faithful readers realize how very fortunate we are in having “a poet in residence” in Wisse Daal (Meadow Valley). Ed Weber wrote his poem on the Green Dragon especially for this column and kindly prepared the accompanying translation.

Ed Weber’s residence in Meadow Valley calls to mind the pleasure we had recently of meeting one of Ed’s neighbors, Professor Ira Grushow of Franklin and Marshall College. Bischli-Gnippli and die Bischlin-Gnipplin spent part of a Monday evening in the archives of the Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley at 249 West Main Street in Ephrata searching for the dialect writings of the Von Nieda brothers. It was on that occasion that we met Professor Grushow.

But more of J. Wesley von Nieda next week!

Es Bischli-Gnippli

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