Once upon a time, I worked for a company in Little Rock where there was a clerical aide we’ll call Mickie. Probably in her mid-to-late-40s, she was completely uneducated — couldn’t read or write but was committed to her job and possessed a good heart and her own special wisdom. A few times we had big snow days that closed schools and day care, and I had to take young Alex to work with me. Mickie would take him with her to deliver mail throughout the building, make copies and other tasks. She helped keep him busy all day.I learned a valuable lesson from Mickie which I have carried with me for all these years. There were times when a hubub was stirring, but Mickie declined to be caught up in it. She’d say, “That be THEY problem.” Right. Not all crazy-making needs to drag us into the proverbial mud puddle. It’s important to assess the situation and, when appropriate, determine “That be THEY problem.”
Oh my, that struck a chord. My dad, who was born in 1898 and only educated through the 8th grade, talked like that. “That’s THEY yard,” he would say if i wandered too far away from our little duplex in South Memphis, “stay out of it.” He died in 1964, and although his memory still abides deeply within me, I had forgotten that little language nuance.” Thank you for writing that.
Thank you for your comment. At one time, I also worked in Little Rock.