Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Learning New Words

I was an innocent young 19 year old when I got to Dow Airplane Patch. I learned many new things including many new words and phrases. I don't think I had ever had a sub before and there they were called 'guinea grinders' or just grinders. After being called a 'jabroni' a number of times I learned that it meant 'fucking asshole' in Italian. I have never been able to figure out why Italians are called guineas. Worked with a guy back in the nineties that called himself the 'Mini Guinea'. He said that somewhere along the line lots of Italians were working for a guinea a day and that's why they were called guineas and the name stuck.

I learned that a 'Coonass' was a Cajun from Louisiana. My supervisor was a Coonass and so I didn't have a very good opinion of Coonasses because of that. Let's just say I didn't think he was the brightest bulb in the chandelier. They sent us another Coonass straight out of basic to become a welder and he was an even dimmer bulb.

Learned about Down East, which is a direction. According to Wikipedia it refers to the Maine coast from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian Border. Another is when sailing from Boston to Maine, you would go downwind to go East and on the return you would go up to Boston.

When I was there the people were Mainiacs, now they prefer to be called Mainers. I still like Mainiacs and the Air National Guard unit at Bangah (Bangor) still called themselves Mainiacs when I was back there in the mid-80's. While I was stationed there the Guard had F-89's that were pretty much useless. I heard that when our F-101's were flying target for their F-89's, they would sometimes get on the radio and say slow down so we can catch you. When I was back in the 80's they were a tanker unit. I got one of their decals and put it on my toolbox.

I learned how to talk like a Mainiac, and could do a passable Down East accent. A friend (a Mainiac) turned me on to the records Bert and I. If you click on the link you can listen to several of the bits on the Bert and I records. These records helped me get my Mainiac accent right. When I was about to go back there in the 80's, I used the accent to talk to the guys I was working with who were going up to Bangah. They said I was bullshitting them, that nobody talks like that. After we had been there awhile and the leadman had meet the family of waitress he hooked up with, he said, not only did they talk like I had, their accent was so thick he couldn't understand it!!

Aiyah, ain't no sonuva whorah in Bangah can beat my caw!! Aiyah!!


Anonymous said...

And now I've learned some new words. Thanks!

BBC said...

I don't think that I've ever seen airplanes like that.

Kulkuri said...

BBC, they are two of the three flying models of the Lear Fan. Bill Lear who made the Lear Jet had this idea to make a business plane out of composites (grahite and Kevlar) with the hope it would be more economical than the business jets. He died before it flew and his wife tried to make it go, but it never got certified by the FAA so it never went into production and there were only three flying models made. I worked on it for almost 2 years until I figured out it was just a tax write off for the investors and I left before it went tits up.

Kulkuri said...

There is one on display at the Air Museum at Boeing Field in Seattle. It's the one in the back with the red stripes and the tail number that is Bill Lear's b-day and initials.