Es Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Eck


(Originally published in the February 11, 1981 issue of The Shopping News)

 

Benny Weaver Fendu

By Ed G. Weber

Neinzeh Hunnert un Achtzich, der fuffzeht November,

Zwischich Baumanswill un Terre Hill,

Waar en Fendu beim Benny Weaver.

Er waar en Groyer - Sei Schtimm is nau schtill.

 

Maniche Yaahr hot er gegroyert

Mit laut un glaare Schtimm.

Darich die Yaahre is Sach rumgwexelt:

Mer meent es is ganz zu schlimm.

 

Die Groyer hen nau en Schallbax;

Es daed noot mer het Ohreschtobber.

En Hunnert Dausend Hammer

Sin in dei Kopp rumgloppe.

 

Der Benny hot als Sach abgschlage

Un gfrogt: “Was is die Naame?”

Dei Naame macht nau nix meh aus:

Sie froge: “Was is dei Nummer?”

 

Wie kann mer Leit lanne kenne?

Alle Fendu hen sie en annerschter Nummer!

Am Blatz vun Leit gscheider warre,

Sin die Mensche dummer un dummer.

 

Viel gut Sach hen sie verkaaft -

Deel schier so gut wie nei.

Awwer sell Sach is net aagenehmt;

Niemand is bekimmert dabei.

 

Awwer nemm mol seller alt Jelly-Schank:

Er waar alles vergratzt un verzehrt.

Ee Zabbe is ab vun der Schubblaad;

Mer daed denke er is nix meh wert.

 

“Doch wer gebt fuffzich Daaler?

Fer der Grossgrosseldere ihre Schank?

Ya, en hunnert! un fuffzich! un zweehunnert?

Un fuffzich? Des is doch ken Junk!”

 

“Drei hunnert! un fuffzich! Vier hunnert!

Un zehn!” hot der Groyer rausgeglobbt.

Er beddelt fer noch mehner,

Awwer datt is wu’s Biedes schtoppt!

 

Der Kaefer jumbt un lacht;

Er saagt er is wunnerbaar froh.

Der Schank is zweemol zo viel wert,

As die Leit gebodde hen do.

 

Un so geht die Fendu aan -

Die Leit hen Geld weck zu schmeisse.

Was gut is, holt was es wert is;

Was alt is, holt narrische Preise!

 

An en Fendu Yaahre zurick

Waar Geld net blendi wie heit.

Fer en hunnert Daaler sammle,

Hoscht gschpaart un gegratzt wie net gscheit.

 

Sie hen die Conditions gelese

Un datt sin die gange dabei.

Es waar Greditt fer dreissich Daag

Un sell vun Indresse frei.

 

Fer lenger wie sell nemme sie en Noot,

Fer drei odder sex Munet odder en Yaahr;

Wann en Freind ghat hoscht fer’s zu seine

Un helfe schteh davor!

 

Heit sin die Fendu-e all Cash -

Du bischt nix meh wie en Nummer.

Dei Greditt is nix meh wert -

Du heerscht nix vun en guder Naame.

 

Der Benny waar Groyer un Breddicher,

Waar bekannt zu dausende vun Leit.

Sie kumme zamme fer sei Leicht

Un die Fendu vun breed un weit.

 

Well, so geht’s Lewe uff der alt Welt:

En katze Zeit sin mer do.

Wann mir Gott diene wie mir sodde,

Dann is der Himmel blo!

 

So nemm der Heiland bei der Hand

Vun Sunnuff bis Sunnunner.

No gebt ER dir en neier Naame

Un ER wees aa dei Nummer.

 

Benny Weaver Sale

 

Nineteen hundred and eighty, the fifteenth of November,

Between Bowmansville and Terre Hill,

Public sale at Benny Weaver’s.

He was an auctioneer - But his voice is now still.

 

Many a year Benny auctioneered

With a voice that was loud and clear.

During the years things have changed a lot:

And some of these changes are just too bad.

 

The auctioneer now has an amplifier;

You should almost muffle your ears:

Like a hundred thousand hammers

Hammering around in your head.

 

Benny used to knock things off

And ask for the buyer’s name.

Your name is not important now;

You got a number when you came.

 

How can we learn to know each other?

At each sale you have a different number.

Instead of people getting smarter,

It seems they get dumber and dumber.

 

Many good things they sold at the sale -

Some good as new, just about.

But those were no big excitement;

No one seemed to holler and shout.

 

But now look at that old jelly cupboard,

All scratched up with years of wear/

One knob was off of a drawer;

It’s worn out, so who should care?

 

“Yet, who will give fifty dollars?

For the great-grandparents’ jelly cupboard?

Yes, one hundred! and fifty! two hundred!

And fifty! After all it’s no junker!”

 

“Three hundred! and fifty! four hundred!

And ten!” the auctioneer hammered out.

He begged them for a little more,

But that’s where the bidding stopped.

 

The buyer jumped up and laughed;

He seems to be very well pleased.

He says it’s worth twice as much

As where the bidding ceased.

 

And so the sale continues -

The people had money galore.

Good things brought what they were worth:

Antiques brought crazy much more!

 

At the sales of years ago

You had very little money to your name.

To earn and save one hundred dollars.

You scratched as if you were insane.

 

They used to read the conditions:

What the rules said is how it was to be.

They gave you credit for 30 days,

And that was interest free.

 

For a longer term they took a note,

For 3 or 6 months or a year.

If you had a friend to sign it,

And help your name to clear.

 

But today the sales are all cash!

You are a number! and that’s all.

At a sale your credit is nothing:

Your good name becomes very small.

 

Benny was an auctioneer and a preacher

And thousands knew him well.

They came together for his funeral

And the sale, to see what was to sell.

 

Well, so it goes in this old world:

The short time we are here.

If we serve God as we should,

Then heaven will bring us good cheer.

 

So take Jesus by the hand,

From sunrise till the sun goes under;

Then He will give you a new name,

And He certainly knows your number.

 

***

On November 20, 1980, Der Alt Weisskopp wrote to Bischli-Gnippli as follows:

“Last Saturday my wife and I attended a sale of Auctioneer Benny Weaver’s belongings. A few months earlier our grandson Ronald Horning had bought the property.

“Now they sold the rest of his goods. Benny was well known over The Shopping News area. He was with the Green Dragon from its beginning when Noah Burkholder started it. His picture was in the National Geographic Magazine selling at the Dragon about 1949.”

***

Thanks a million, Weisskopp, Benny Weaver Fendu. We are certain that The Shopping News readers will relive some of their own experiences when they peruse your Dutch opus.

We have additional goodies from the pen of Der Alt Weisskopp, which we will share with you as the weeks go by.

Es Bischli-Gnippli

 
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