Es Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Eck
(Originally published in the July 28, 1982 issue of
The Shopping News)
Our 100th Eck!
by Paul B. Horning
Do im Mitsummer in der heese Daage vum Juli hab ich zerick gedenkt zu der Zeit, wu ich en yunger Buh waar, 80 Yaahr zerick, wu die Leit viel gschwetzt hen vun der Hunsdaage.
Wie es Wedder so hees un schmodich waar vun der Weezearn bis in der Auguscht. Sie hen als gsaat: “Wann die Hunsdaag mol verbei sin, watt’s kiehler.” An seller Zeit hab ich geglaabt an die Hund hen ebbes zu duh mit em Wedder. Wie sie sich als lang gschtreckt in der kiehl Schadde gelegt hen un mir Yunge sin in die Grick odder in der Damm gebaade un hen gewinscht die heese, schwitziche Daage waere verbei.
Schpaeder hab ich ausgfunne as die Hund gaar nix zu duh hen mit! Die Hunddaage waare so genennt, weil des die Zeit waar as “Sirius” die Hundschtann for 6 Woche mit der Sunn uff un unner gange is. Heitzu-daag mit Electric Refrigerator, Electric Fan un hendich Eis un die “Daagesleicht Schpaares” Zeit (Daylight Saving Time), heert mer net viel meh vun der Hunsdaage, Gewiss viel yunge Leit wisse nix vun Hunsdaage un vielleicht is des yuscht so gut, as sie sich net baddere dawege. Es is genunk Druwwel in der Welt.
Uff die anner Hand gleicht mer doch net sehne as eens vun der alde Pennsilfaani Deitsche Gedechtnisse velore geht, mit all der neie Wege for Zeit verdreiwe. Hie odder her, des sin ewwe als noch die Hunsdaage!
Der varzeht Juli, 1981
Here in midsummer in the hot days of July, my thoughts return to the time when I was a young lad, 80 years ago, when folks spoke a great deal about Dog Days.
When the weather was so hot and sultry from the time of the wheat harvest into August, they used to say: “When Dog Days are over, it gets cooler.” At that time, I was convinced that dogs had something to do with the weather. As they lay stretched out in the cool shadows, we youngsters went swimming in the creek or behind the dam and wished that the hot, sweaty days might pass.
Later I found out that the dogs had absolutely nothing to do with it! The Dog Days were so called because this was the time that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises and sets with the sun. Nowadays with electric refrigerators, electric fans and handy ice and Daylight Saving Time, one doesn’t hear much of the Dog Days. Indeed, many young people know nothing of Dog Days and perhaps it’s just as well that they don’t concern themselves. There’s enough trouble in the world.
On the other hand, one doesn’t like to see that one of the old Pennsylvania Dutch beliefs is lost, in view of all the new ways to pass time. Either way, these are still the Dog Days!
One year and two weeks ago we received a delightful letter from Paul B. Horning, which contains the piece you see above. Since this letter is so interesting and should appear during the Dog Days, we saved it until this time. Again, we are beholden to unser Baricks Kaundi Freind, Paul “Papa” Horning.
We are certain that some of our readers will recall additional lore related to Dog Days. We were cautioned as a child by our Aunt Grace Beam Wade not to swim in the creek during Dog Days. Well, that’s surely 50 years ago. We’d appreciate hearing from any readers who recall other prohibitions in connection with the old Hunsdaage.
This week we salute a Dutch Buddy with whom we recently had an animated conversation in the Provident Bookstore in downtown Lancaster. He is Ammon S. Martin of 239 State Street, Talmage, Pennsylvania 17580. One of the questions B-G put to him was: “How many non-plain fluent speakers of Dutch do you know, who are younger than 40?” Ammon was hard put to come up with names. So the search is on! Who can send us the names of families with fluent dialect speakers who are non-plain and under 40 years of age?
Amish Lifestyles: Illustrated is the name of a brand-new book on the market by Terry L. Troyer of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has Amish grandparents. Terry has prepared the illustrations and written the accompanying texts. The book sells in bookstores for $19.95. If you do not live near a bookstore, you may want to write to TLT Publications, 202 South Fifth Street, Goshen, Indiana 46526 for a copy.
For B-G, the most interesting sketches in the book are of horses and carriages, farmhouses and barns, the “Earth Cellar,” the hay loader, the shocks of wheat, the thrashing scene, corn in shock and the barn raising.
This week, our hat is off to Terry L. Troyer for a significant contribution to the literature on the Amish.
July 28, 1982