PERT NEAR CRIED
B: John said, “It looks to me like a man’s feet ‘d get cold. . . no shoes on, boys. He said, “hell, that’s the way I go all the time,” he said. And boy, John Roberts laughed till he cried over that. He met him one day in the snow yuh know, it’uz snowin’, an’ him barefooted yuh know.
B: He said, “I thought by god,” he said, “I thought there was one a them, I thought, boys, that was one uh them yay-hoes,” he said, “when I seen him a comin’,” he said, “an’ the snow about that deep,” he said, and there he’d go. An’ he told John, and John laughed, boys, over that till he purty near cried. . . him a goin’ barefoot in the snow, and it a snowin’ . He said the snow was about that deep, John said. That was ol’ George Davis. An’ he went, he wouldn’ wear shoe, I never did see him with a shoe on. An’ the britches rolled up, he had the britches rolled up, a way up ’bout that high ya know . . .
D: Was he any kin tuh this Joe Davis, use’ tuh live across the river?
B: Nah, I dunno whether he, I don’ think he was. No, I don’ think he was any kin to him.
B: He was a purty big man, this Davis was.
John Roberts was approximately the same age as Burl, and was a double first cousin. In this story, the height that George Davis’ britches were rolled to, as Burl showed me, was half way up his shins. With the blue collar folks or mountain folks, we are always poised to catch any unusual attributes that a person might show, and nurture it for years. Burl was one of the many who carried these with him for life. The telling of jokes did not hold as much attraction as the telling of stories associated a person. This sign of appreciation of interpersonal relationships is held in high esteem in a people culture.