Episode 4

An Idiot’s Guide to Entering College

It was still a rainy day in December when I picked up Kelly. We had no idea about what college to attend. We were going to the nearest college. If it had been a college for brain surgeons, we would have been brain surgeons. If it had been a college for double-aught-seven spies, we would have been spies. But it was a teachers college. We drove to Salisbury Teachers College ready to join the ranks of college students.

My command of the English language was deplorable. It was ‘dis, does and dar. I omitted the ‘th’ sound on all words. Taylorville was really a backwater area. Very rural with farmers and fishermen. The further you got away from Rte. 13 which ran down the center of the Delmarva Peninsula, the more backward the people were. Also the further you went down the peninsula the worse it became. Most people didn’t realize that the two lower counties were part of Virginia. The islands in the Chesapeake; Smith Island, Deals Island, Tangier Island and Saxis Island were absolutely the most backwards and uneducated.

During Queen Elizabeth Coronation back in the fifties, some inhabitants of the islands were taken to meet the queen. That was so she could hear ‘Elizabethan English’ being spoken as it was spoken three hundred years ago in England. Even in college, it was hard to understand the boys and girls from the islands. The children on Smith Island attended elementary school on the island. But from the seventh grade on they rode the mail boat back and forth to school.

Back to the rainy December day.

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