We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, March 5. 2016
Yankee Attitude: "Tolerant," but from a distance
A dusty re-post -
Unless they happen to be in the tourist trade or the mini-mart business, the Yankee native does not tend to welcome visitors to his corners of the woods. Maybe this applies to all of small-town USA.
You get the feeling that the old families don't welcome out-of-towners, much less furriners. And whenever they see a New York license plate in town, they worry and grumble. I'm sorry, but it's just the way the folks are: "Please respect our space and our ways and we will try to tolerate yours as long as you keep them somewhere else."
City people might term it parochial, but it's actually a strong sense of proprietorship and protectiveness towards something valuable - "Our town."
I guess we like things as they are, or, preferably, as they were. The old-timers still refer to my place as "Peck's farm," even though old Amos Peck, the fourth generation on that land and a member of a founding family of the town, ascended to his reward in 1932 and his kids sold the old chicken and dairy farm to a dairy farmer down the road who was looking to expand his herd. One wonders whether there is a covert message in it: "You don't really belong there - you are just a transient with a mortgage."
It takes two to three generations at minimum, I think, to get past being a newcomer. To be an old family, I'd guess five generations minimum. (That makes sense to me. It is an indication that your family might be committed to the town, and not just passing by the way people often do these days, viewing land as real estate rather than as a place to anchor for your future generations.)
Yes, it's about different views of land and of "place". Ideally, your ancestors would have helped build our simple 1742 Meeting House/Congregational Church, which remains the only place of worship for seven miles.
I have mentioned in the past that our modest place (which is one component of the abstraction which is Maggie's Farm) abuts the Farmington River in north-central CT, whose happy rippling and sighing I can hear from my pool and from my poolside hammock.
We have eagles, ospreys, Wood Duck, trout (mostly stocked but with some sea-run I think), herring, and maybe soon we will have a return of fishable numbers of migratory Atlantic Salmon, thanks to the fish people. We canoe the river all the time, counting the herons and the Kingfishers, and cleaning garbage from the banks when we find it.
But do not come here. We prefer it quiet and private.
Photo above: A classic Yankee front door-mat. It does NOT apply to Maggie's Farm: you are the visitors that we welcome.
Photo below: Fishing on the Farmington in early morning mist.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:04 | Comments (45) | Trackbacks (4)
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We have the same door mat. And a Pompeii replica tile with a snarling dog saying "CAVE CANEM". Course anybody who still knows Latin would be welcome--the malefactors the false advertising about mush of a retriever is aimed at don't understand the warning!
That is surely something to be proud of, and it certainly describes
the 'abstraction' that is Maggie's Farm.
If I were to put a bumper sticker on my truck, it would be: Welcome to New Hampshire, now leave.
Alack, Massachusetts has already moved in…
It appears that the old time residents are outnumbered in almost all of New England. My judgements are base on the change in politics of the last 50 yrs. Vermont is overrun with utopian NY city folk. New Hampshire, historically staunch traditional conservative, now has refuges from Mass. bring their bad habits that they are running away from, liberalism and high taxes. They went for Kerry in 04, Bush in 00. Maine has two liberal Repubican senators. Ct, RI, Ma have been liberal for quite awhile now. NE's biggest problem is that its so beautiful and too close to high population areas.
Nice affirmation, B. And great illo. Now, fire Chris Dodd & everything'll be fine!
Love all, trust few, wrong none.
–William Shakespeare (i think)
B-- does this mean the barbecue is off for tonight? Man! Now I have to tell the wife to unpack the truck and send the relatives home.
be sure and don't leave them chickens & that goat cooped up in the pickup too long --hot sun, remember.
I'll take care of the chickens. The goat. Well, the goat ate my wallet, chased my grandmother into the house, and butted me into the feed trough. Don't goats represent the devil in pagan lore? The goat can sit out there for a while...
I think that it is commendable that so many want to protect their heritage. The South is similar in many areas.
Once you lose the threads that bind you to an unalloyed past, a "Yankee" way of like it will be impossible to repair.
I think each region should be protective of their heritage. Yes , in times of danger we'll come together.
And therin is the nexus of the immigration amnesty of 12-20 million people who go everywhere and care not a wit about assimilating. The US needs to get back to the measured approach to immigration. In our past we have even called for years of no immigration so those who have arrrived are more prone to assimilate as opposed to set up enclaves of their oun country within our borders.
Congratulations on bringing a great subject into the light.
You'uns know I love you, even if you Are Yankees; But, a "River?" that you can wade around in?
We call Dodd "Dodo." He is only there because folks confused him with his excellent father, Senator Tom Dodd, a great supporter of the Vietnam War and a true conservative Dem.
Just joshin ya Mr B, It's a beeyootiful river. I'm just real, real jealous.
besides, how do you know it's shallow? B could be wearing stilts.
New Hampshire is a wonderful state. We have no personal or sales taxes, the geography is beautiful. The rives and meadows, the climate and people are wonderful. I think it is the best place to live in the United States.
Once I went down south with friends in college. We saw a bumper stcker in Georgia that said. "If you're a Yankee be out of town by sundown" It was aweful.
Later we were told that the way they get Yankees out of trees in Georgia was to cut the ropes. We went on to South Beach.
But everyone should be luck enough to live in New Hampshire.
Poor Eugenia. It must have been a while back when you last visited the Empire State of the South. There are so many day-um Yankees living in Atlanta and Saint Simon's Island , and all points in between, that with all the rudeness you might think it was the North.
Good ol' boys and rednecks sometimes like to fun you poor Yankees when you visit. Seems that you ran into some of the scary variety. A lot of the old hard core rednecks have died out and most of the younger ones are not so vile. Anyway, you can find bigots, haters and rednecks just about anywhere. Think Ohio and California. Not to forget Idaho and Montana--oh, and New York and Pennsylvania. I could go on and offend everyone.
New Hampshire is beautiful and you have so much shoreline. The winters are a bit cold for us Southern boys though. We prefer the mild climate of the Southland.
A lot of folks here still seem to remember the War of Northern Aggression and live life like it happened yesterday, but are mostly harmless. Hail no, they ain't forgettin'. So be it.
You can't be too pretentious around us as we abhor snobbery. Some our ways are a bit foreign and backward but we are just plain folk. Come and visit and see if you don't change your mind.
As for your signs: I have seen worse. Do not be afeared.
We moved to a small Georgia town from a large Southern city and felt right at home. It may be because if one's family has resided in the South for a few generations, well, we're all related.
About 40,000 New Yorkers have moved to Atlanta in the last five years. Hmmm. Must like something about it.
The bigots and haters in Idaho are comprised of Democrats, socialists and straight up communists. The rest are just regular folks trying to stay alive in a poor state where the greens and communists keep trying to take even more from the working population.
I believe we should build a wall along our southern border - between NH and MA, that is. Wrote about it here: http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2006/06/build-wall-interview.html
AVI: Old Yankees aren’t in touch with their feelings?
EJ: How would you tell?
(snip from AVI's link)
In touch or not in touch - they won't let you know. None of your business.
...and mighty refreshing that is, after all our years of ''let it all hang out'' indoctrination --
Yeah, it brings tears to my eyes.
#220.127.116.11.1 Jephnol (Link) on 2007-09-02 16:11 (Reply)
#18.104.22.168.1.1 Assistant Village Idiot (Link) on 2007-09-02 20:20 (Reply)
Some good while ago, probably Memorial Day a year or two ago, I signed the guestbook at an excellent site commemorating the Battle of Guadalcanal. Then a few days ago I got the email pasted below. It's about a Maine boy, so I thought this "Yankee" thread might want to know. Pasted email (I'd like to paste the sender's name & addy, since he seems to say it's ok --however discretion prevents. But if anyone wants to contact Mr. St. Germaine, BD has my email addy):
I came across your name while viewing Peter Flahavin's website on
My father was in the army and stationed in Guadalcanal during the war. While
there, he kept a journal of daily activities, including the battles. Now, at
age 88, he has finally published his journal for all to read.
He doesn't plan to get rich off of this adventure, he mostly wants to share
with others what things were like for our boys back then. (If someone is
interested in learning of the book, I have placed a link below for more
He is not a historian, nor a war expert. But, if you happen to have any
questions that he may be able to answer, I would be happy to provide you
with his email address. He would enjoy hearing from anyone that he may help.
His military background:
Name: Arthur St.Germaine
181st AmeriCal Division from Worcester, MA
Basic training at Camp Edwards, Cape Cod.
Served in Solomon Islands, Fiji, Guadalcanal
Thanks for your time, hope you get to say hi to him.
Preview his journal by clicking here:
Ohio guy overrun by development on his left and his right
I'm glad that somebody remembers that there is more to beong a Yankee than living in New England or (heaven-forbid) New York. I'm sorry, but all the Liberals, the Irish and the Italians in MA are NOT Yankees.
There are still a few reticent, skinflint, suspicious, rock-farming Yankees still around. The ones that Sam Houston warned Southerners about.
Yes, Yankees are somewhat tolerable but only from from a distance.
That is what Sam warned folks about, too, me thinks.
Never claimed we were sexy. Heck, Calvin Coolidge is my hero.
"the Italians in MA are NOT Yankees."
Much of my family lives in the same general area as the Barrister -- central Ct -- the Berlins, Kensington, Farmington, Colchester, Cromwell, Plantsville, Southington.
They are all Italian-Americans, although some have intermarried with Yankees. If it was worrying you, I can assure you that none of them think of themselves as Yankees or have any desire to think of themselves as Yankees even though some have lived there for their entire lives. Among the nice things about the area is that they've never felt unwelcomed or treated badly that I know of, although maybe they're just insensate to social cues. If some of the multi-generation locals are wary, my family is no worse for the experience. They have many friends and in many cases are active prominent business people, church members and community volunteers.
During my teens, in the far less Yankee Fairfield County Territory, I also felt thoroughly at home. Some of my best friends were Yankees and I couldn't have felt more welcomed by them. They are still my friends, although they've emigrated to foreign lands like California and Arizona where, despite being expats, they've integrated nicely into foreign communities that have accepted their peculiar ways.
I thought the mat would say "Don't Tread on Me."
The Farm needs to scale back a tad: it's taking so long to load that it's clunking up my MackBook Pro: aborting the Safari.
You need to chop off the older posts a bit quicker so that there is no long pause to permit scrolling.
I live in a small town in NY. Lived here 14 years; still new in town. Every street with a family name on it still has someone with that name on the street. Graduating classes of the local HS, names listed on the walls going back 40+ years, have the same surnames repeated over and over. There will be 4 from my family over a 16 year period, to not ever be repeated. My oldest have already moved on. My HS graduating class, from suburban northern New Jersey, is scattered literally all over the world. On facebook, I think there are maybe 2 from my class of 400+ left in the towns that made up my HS district.
Interestingly, all the local volunteer organizations except the fire department are run by us newcomers. Haven't figured out why yet.
Tracing back to the 1600's, all of my ancestors, since arriving in North America, none have died within 50 miles of where they were born. My ancestors were either kicked out of Europe (the Scots in the 1600's) or left because they didn't like it where they were. And apparently they all developed wanderlust, for there is no family homestead in any branch to return to.
I have ancestors on both sides of the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, or the War Between the States, depending on your viewpoint.
America is what it is today because of families that get up and move. Small towns in rural New England and elsewhere are the way they are because of people who have stayed and stayed.
There's a place for both.
Having experienced both, I prefer suburbia. If I were single, and childless, I'd go for the excitement of city life. I like cities. they have a vibrancy to them that suburbia and small towns do not.
BTW, it was while visiting some of my distant relatives in the South, whose families did settle in one place, that I learned that damnyankee is one word. All my elderly aunts talked about Sherman's March to the Sea as if it had happened to them; none were born before 1890. It's probably still that way today, when elderly women born in the 1930's and '40's talking about Sherman and thew War Between the States. Because they haven't moved around and experienced elsewhere. They sort of accepted me as kin, because of the blood ties, but considered me one of THEM, a damnyankee, because of where I was from. Interesting visit.
"We prefer it quiet and private."
As densely populated as New England is, that comment strikes me as funny.
If you look at the satellite photos, you'll see that it's the coasts and to some extent the bigger rivers are all that is crowded. Lots of trees and small hills keep neighbors out of view as well.
We dont like New York license plates down here in the Deep South either.
Friend of mine grew up in a small city that doubled in size. she finally gave up giving people directions when she caught herself telling people to turn right where the old red barn used to be. Her landmarks were disappearing.
At seven generations in, on this hilltop (though not in Connecticut!), I still feel compelled to point out that there are yet older families whenever people ask.
Maggie's Farm must be practically a neighbor to me.... odd how the internet works.
Where I live, the standard for being a "local" is that your grandfather is buried here. I've been here six years and am considered little ore than a tourist.
Photo above: That is not our Dr. Joy Bliss. That must be Theo's assistant, hard at work. I think he gets the photos and she does the thinking.Death of a Phony: Arthur Miller. I never did quite get what was so great about him. Preachy, condescending - and
Tracked: Sep 03, 06:43
I am sure that the Maggie's Farm gang is relieved that I am back from vacation, so they can ease up on the links. It has been boats, boats and more boats. Plus a year's worth of beer, lobster, cod, clams and oysters in one week: I eat little else when I a
Tracked: Sep 04, 05:34
I stole the piece below from The Barrister over at Maggie's Farm. It pretty well explains the feelings of a lot of us Yankees up here in New Hampshire, particularly those wishing to maintain the N'Hampsha' way of life,...
Tracked: Aug 04, 12:31
A repost from 2007 - After my celebrated piece on Yankee Attitude and a few pieces on The Code of the West, I was invited to consider what some of the unspoken Code of Behavior might be in my rural, ancestral Yankee corner of Connecticut.
Tracked: Sep 02, 15:10