Peter D. Van de Vate

August 26, 2013

Post #3507 – 20130826

Mr. Pinkwater,

I never imagined that you were a fellow Tennesseean. I understand that you live in upstate New York. I was born in Rochester. My mom's family is from the city. My grendfather and his brothers owned a plumbing supply business there until the late 60s when they retired. It was the Behrer Nason company and had a warehouse in lower Manhattan that was condemned to make room for the World Trade complex. I am in Tennessee due to my father's employment with the late great Eastman Kodak Company, now Eastman Chemical Company, with a huge facility in Kingsport.

I write to you because I am an avid listener of NPR, and really enjoy it when you are featured.

I am also a lawyer who writes articles on the origins of words and sayings, etc. So, I appreciate what you do.

I was compelled to drop you a note of appreciation and admiration.

I just heard you on Car Talk, probably a rerun, discussing butt attributes and driving. Quite interesting and, as usual, amusing.

Be well.

Daniel replies:

I regularly use words in my work.  I find them to be useful and entertaining.

People in genuine upstate New York take offense when the region in which I live, the Hudson Valley, is referred to as """"upstate,"""" generally by New York City folks. It is upstate of the city, but downstate from where people encounter moose on the highway, and have snow on the Fourth of July.

After 25 years, I have quit submitting new pieces to NPR. I am pretty sure they don't know I'm gone. Instead, I contribute to The Bob Edwards Show on SiriusXM satellite radio. It is a lot of fun. I also write things for, which is also a lot of fun.

My memories of Memphis are hazy and date from early childhood. I understand I had the accent at one time.

Thanks for your appreciation.