Wednesday, April 29, 2015
You Want a What?
She was born in Philadelphia, and moved her family north when my father accepted a job at General Dynamics Electronics. She needed a map - Rochester isn't an especially intuitive city. She'd never learned to drive, so a new friend took her to Pittsford Department Store. My mom asked for a map.
The clerk brought her a mop.
Rochester's accent is much more like Chicago's than NYC's. The Great Lakes accent, it is called. Some translation was necessary.
"Not a mahp" her friend said. "A may-ip."
Ken Kaiser was explaining something Rochester-esque. "We went to Wagmans, the grocery giant of Upstate New York."
Wagmans?! I knew instantly what had happened. Ken Kaiser had spoken into a tape recorder and his "as told to" collated the recollections into an entirely entertaining book. But, to the untrained ear Wegmans, spoken in Rochester-ese, sounded like Wagmans and the editor hadn't caught it.
Wegmans, where my mom and I had spent a lot of foodie hours. She loved spring green salad with blueberries and strawberries. I knew right where to go for the ingredients, especially in the Pittsford store. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
So I did both.