And Now For Something Completely Different…

Jim Burroway

February 13th, 2007

I’m still working on my next post about the Love Won Out conference I attended last weekend. Like I said, it’s going to take a while. So in the meantime, I’d like to present something that my friend and fellow P.H.S. alumnus Warren Throckmorton passed on to me. It’s a video done by students from our old high school in Portsmouth, Ohio.

I love this video for many reasons, not the least of which for its strange and compelling mix of small-town coolness that looks to the outside world for its cues yet cannot escape the confines of small-town reality. It’s perfect that way. Towns like Portsmouth, even small, economically-depressed and dying like towns Portsmouth need to learn from these kids and own their own coolness. That’s where all turn-arounds begin. Appropriately enough, the video is called “Bringing Portsmouth Back.”

I also like this video because you can hear mild traces of a very unique Appalachian accent that I grew up hearing and speaking, the one I still speak to this day with a little Texas coloration added from my fifteen years in Dallas. That accent is blend of the West Virginian, Kentucky Highlands, and Midwestern accents that cannot be found anywhere else. (They helpfully provide subtitles, in case you’re accent-impaired.) And that white brick neo-classical building you sometimes see out the window? That’s the real Portsmouth High School (or to these guys, the old abandoned high school), the one I know so well. Pay attention because that historic building is due to be razed in a terrible fit of short-sightedness.

There now. Maybe that’ll buy me a day or two…


February 23rd, 2007

Thanks for posting this.
I know that accent, having spent a good portion of my growing-up years in Waverly/Beaver, just up the road from Portsmouth.

The Werewolf Prophet

February 24th, 2007

AWESOME video, thanks for posting it !


March 23rd, 2007

Haven’t lived in that part of Ohio in many years, but you’re right, there is quite a unique accent in that area of southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. I loved living there.

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