Wednesday, July 9, 2008

An Introduction

Disclaimer: I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be, a card holding Swamp Yankee (see below for a stab at a definition of a Swamp Yankee). Instead I am a convert to this way of life and if I am a convert then my mom is downright born again. She started out about as far away from Swamp Yankee as you could get, a Brooklyn Jew who could be found running around barefoot in the Village in the 60’s. I would guess her conversion to a more rural mind frame began around the time she met my father, a country boy from Missouri whose first indoor bathroom was acquired when he was twelve. Although they didn’t move to the southern part of Rhode Island until I was four, we quickly adjusted to the local culture which is…

My attempt to define a Swamp Yankee:
Swamp Yankees are the hillbillies of Southern New England (Rhode Island mostly). According to Wikipedia: “The term ‘Yankee’ connotes urbane industriousness, while the term ‘Swamp Yankee’ signifies a more countrified, stubborn, independent and less refined subtype” ( This pretty well sums up the essence of a true Swamp Yankee: self-reliant yet stubborn. And I use this term in only the most positive manner, as I think most of these qualities are admirable. But unfortunately I will never be a true Swamp Yankee, for as I understand it, to qualify your family must go back a few generations in the area, and we are only recent transplants. But despite this, we will still strive to be the best damn fake Swamp Yankees that we can be, by being as self-reliant as is possible for poor folks. But you may ask: “Doesn’t being poor necessitate more self-reliance?” One would think so but somehow things seemed to have worked out so that doing things for yourself is actually MORE expensive (now why would this be?) Take sewing for example, if you can even find fabric locally (we have to drive pretty far to even find a decent selection), it will probably cost you more to buy the fabric to make yourself an item of clothing then it actually would to go to your local retail giant and buy it. So if this rings true of your experience, read on for more ADVENTURES IN THE LAND OF SWAMP YANKEES!!!

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