After reading Roy's opinion I thought i would share about some of my experiences. While in the USMC during the '50s I went home with a buddy that lived in New Britian, Conn. Those folks thought the people in the south, especially in the mountain areas, were like the Lil Abner comic strip. They would believe anything they were told.
I have had the opportunity to travel to several countries and those who speak English had a difficult time understanding me. One friend from New Zealand stated in a meeting, "If you think I speak funny you haven't heard Nick speak."
Another time when I was in Costa Rico I was introduced to the pastor of an English speaking church. He made this comment after I introduced myself. He said, " My wife is going to love talking to you as she is from Louisiana and hasn't heard a southern drawl in five years."
One person who heard me speak asked what was my nationality. I answered that I was from the south in the U.S.A. and I didn't speak English. I was blessed to be able speak southern.
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Very interesting subject Mr. Kennedy has brought up. One of the things I miss the most about my late wife, Anne, was her melodious voice and deep South accent.
She was raised in Thomasville, Ga. This is deep South where they have real southern cooking. I got my immersion in the deep South there and after college when we lived in Savannah.
A real southern accent is a beautiful thing. As Jimmy Buffet sang, "I can't pronounce my r's and g's when I'm speaking southernese."