Es Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Eck

Es Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Eck

(Originally published in the May 23, 1984 issue of
The Shopping News)

Die Kaempmiedin An Terre Hill
(Part II)
By Paul B. Horning

Des waar en Neeger Kaempmiedin, awwer es waare viel weisse Leit hiegfaahre mit Geil un Waeglin un hen ihre Geil am Beem aagbunne.

Ich waar selwer hiegfaahre ee Sunndaag Nochmiddaag un Owed. Ich meind noch as en grosser Wasserdroog net weit ab waar, wu die Leit ihre Geil gedrenkt hen. Sie hen aa en Bindel Hoi bei sich ghat fer die Geil.

Seller Owed hot en Neeger gebreddicht in Englisch uff “The Dynamite of God.” Es waar en Neeger-Kor uff em Schtaend un der Breddicher mit der Hemm-Aaremel nuff gewickelt – un der Koller uff gegnippt – hot der Kor gfiert. Er hot des Watt Dynamite aus gschproche “Dunnemite.” Er hot als die Aarem in die Heh un die Hend zamme gschlaage uff es Watt BOOM! So hen sie recht laut gsunge, “When the Dunnemite of God goes BOOM!” Es waare gude Bass Singer im Kor un des hot als gschallt.

Der Breddicher hot gedeit mit der Hend as die Leit all mitsinge solle. Well, nau is der BOOM! viel lauder gewesst un es sin zwee Geil los gegrisse un waere abgschprunge, wann net paar Menner sie am Zaahm halt grickt hedde. Ich hab bei meim Gaul gschtanne fer ihn ruhich halde.

Eb lang hen sie meh BOOM! ghat as sie geguckt hen davor. Es hot frieh im Owed weit ab gedunnert, un so an der nein Uhr is en schneller Gwidder-Reege uff kumme. Es hot schwer gegwiddert un die Lichder sin ausgange. Die Neeger sin in ihre Zelde gschprunge. Die weisse Weibsleit sin in ihre Waeglin gegraddelt un die Mannsleit hen die Geil aus dem dunkele Busch gfiert un sin darich nass warre.

En glee Schtick vun Busch waar en Dachbrick iwwer die Grick gebaut ans Gude Miehl. Die waar lang genunk as vier Fuhre druff schteh hen kenne. Die vedderschde Fuhre hen gschtoppt uff der Brick un die hinnere Fuhre waare ewwe im Reege.

Ich waar uff der Brick hab mei Maedel bei mir ghat. Do hen die Leit vun der Fuhre im Reege Wadde raus gegrische as sie net an der Miedin gheert hen – un es waar en gross Uffruhr.

Ich glaab as ebber vun’s Gude Miehl die Schteet Bolies grufe hot uff em Telefon. Ennihau, es sin glei zwee Bolies uff Geil beikumme un hen die Brick abgeglaart. Sell Zeit hen all die Schteet Bolies Geil geridde un die zwee hen Reege-gleeder gewaare as weit iwwer ihre Geil zerick gelangt hen.

Mir waare woll drucke unnich em Gum Blaenket, awwer ich waar ewwe darich nass vum Gaul aus em Busch fiehre un ich vergess sei Lewes net wie weit as ich un mei Maedel vunnenanner gsitzt hen in dem Waegli. Ich hab die Curtains net ganz tight zamme gschnallt ghat un sie hot Schtreeme roder Dreck uff ihre linkse Schulder ghat un waar – denkich – en Bissel bees. Awwer es hot alles gut ausgschafft. Mir hen zwee Yaahr dernooch gheiert un hen in Friede gleebt fer 49 Yaahr bis sie gschtarewe is.

***

The Camp Meeting At Terre Hill

This was a black camp meeting, but many white folks drove there with horses and buggies and tied their horses to the trees.

I drove there myself one Sunday afternoon and evening. I recall well that there was a large water trough not far away where the people watered their horses. Each also had a bundle of hay along for the horse.

That evening, a black person preached in English on the subject: “The Dynamite of God.” There was a black choir on the platform. The preacher had his sleeves rolled up, his collar unbuttoned and led the choir. He pronounced the word dynamite as “Dunnemite.” He threw his arms into the air and clapped his hands at the word BOOM! So they sang very loudly, “When the Dunnemite of God goes BOOM!” There were excellent bass singers in the choir and it really rang (in the grove).

The preacher motioned with his hands that the people all should sing along. Well, now, the BOOM! was sung even louder and two of the horses tore loose and would have run away had not a few men grapped them by the bridle. I stood by my horse to keep him quiet.

Before long they had more BOOM! than they were looking for. Early in the evening it thundered from afar, but about nine o’clock a thunderstorm came up suddenly. It thundered heavily and the lights went out. The black people ran into their tents. The white women crawled into their buggies and the men led the horses out of the dark grove and became thoroughly wet.

A short distance from the grove, there was a covered bridge over the creek at Good’s Mill. The bridge was long enough so that four buggies could find shelter there. The first teams stopped on the bridge and the following teams had to stand in the rain.

I was on the bridge and had my girl with me. The people in the buggies and carriages who had to wait in the rain cried out in anger and used words they had not heard at the meeting. Thus there was a great uproar.

I believe someone telephoned for the State Police from Good’s Mill. Anyhow, two policemen arrived on horses and cleared out the bridge. In those days, the State Police rode horses and those two had rain clothes that reached back over their horses.

We were dry enough under our rubber blanket, but I was wet through and through from leading the horses out of the grove. I’ll never forget how far we sat apart in the buggy! I had not snapped the curtains entirely shut and she had streaks of red dirt on her left shoulder and was – I expect – a bit angry. But all turned out well. Two years later we were married and lived happily for 49 years until she died.

***

This week’s account of young Paul Horning’s visit to the Terre Hill camp grove is a sequel to last week’s to Heft’s Grove in Adamstown. We especially enjoyed editing this story of one of the adventures in Paul Horning’s early life because – although we have never been in this grove – we have passed it countless times on our way to Os Beam’s farm by the creek at the end of the lane which comes out on the Red Run-Fivepointville Road. One of our prized colored slides is that of the bridge at Good’s Mill Paul refers to above. It was a landmark which sadly has disappeared.

Both my father and my grandfather made frequent visits to Good’s Mill, for the Good farm adjoined the Beam farm – and the shortest way there was through the adjoining fields. (We wonder whether any members of this branch of the Good family ever read these columns?)

Last week we neglected to salute the good people of Adamstown – for we have good Dutch buddies there – so this week we hasten to do so! Our Deitscher Schtrohhut has long since been thawed out, so with a bow we tilt it in your direction!

This week we also salute all the good Dutchmen in and around Fivepointville – which everyone, of course, knows is “Druckne!” And a special salute to Good’s Mill. Even though we’ve only ever been there once or twice in our childhood days, it occupies a very warm spot in our memories!

And finally, a warm hug for “Papa” Horning down there in Bradenton, Florida, for conjuring up such vivid memories.

May 23, 1984

Es Bischli-Gnippli

as die Gude Leit

gut gleicht!