I’m fixin to light out for the horse show in Waco, Texas. Like the rest of the world, I depend on the online tools for distances and driving instructions, but there’s nothing like an old -fashioned paper highway map for local flavor.
Still, even the map won’t help with pronunciation. I had an east coast client with a legal problem in a place she called Wacko, Texas, and she wasn’t trying to be funny. It’s Way-co of course. Around Austin, folks will raise their eyebrows if you speak of Manor, Texas as if we might stop by for tea and cucumber sandwiches. Say Maine-er, y’all.
You might at least expect San Felipe Road to have a Spanish accent, but no, the correct pronunciation in Houston is San (sounds like can) Phillip-y. Major Houston thoroughfares have names out of the wild west, like Old Spanish Trail and Buffalo Speedway, conjuring the image of a vast herd thundering through the pricey neighborhoods.
On the way to Waco, I could turn off on Old Potato Road, or take a side trip to Dime Box, Texas. I’ve never actually seen Woman Hollering Creek, but the road sign always raises the question, what kind of ruckus might have happened there? On my old paper map, I can see Raisin, Texas, which sounds even smaller than Dime Box. A road trip is a good reminder, there’s a different world outside the city limits.