Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Douthat, Not Dalfat

I recently spent some time in Virginia's Allegheny Mountains.  

Driving along one of the tree-lined, country roads, I noticed a sign that read,

"Douthat State Park".

     "Douthat," I said aloud, as if it sounded familiar.

     "Douthat?  Like . . . . . . Dalfat?" I questioned.   

When I was a kid, my family and I went camping every summer,
     and one summer we went camping at "Dalfat" State Park.


That is how I saw it in my head, because that is how it always sounded when people spoke it.

I never saw it in writing.      

Over the years, my family would tell stories about when we camped at


When you say that, by the way, make sure you add a "southern hick" twang.

My family does not speak that way, but for some reason, whenever the name was brought up,
     it was spoken with a "southern hick" twang.   

And, even though the two spellings do pretty much sound identical ( Dalfat.  Douthat.),
     somehow, this new discovery changes the way that I remember things.       

For instance: 

It means that when we saw the "nice lady" who was lying on the bathroom stall floor
    (probably strung out on drugs),

. . . . . . that was at Douthat, not DALFAT. 

And, those noisy camping neighbors -  the ones who talked all night,

. . . . . .that was at DOUTHAT, not Dalfat. 

And, when the campfire exploded, and burned holes in the chairs,
     my Winnie-the-Pooh blanket, and my FINGER ( yes, it hurt),

. . . . . . that was at Douthat, not Dalfat.

If you are thinking of visiting, please do not let my memory of these events deter you.
The park is beautiful.
There is a nice lake with boats for rent, a beach area, quaint little cabins nestled into the hillsides, 
     and ample places for camping.   

None of which I remembered from being there, as a child.
Maybe there IS a  D-a-l-f-a-t  Park . . . . . . somewhere ? ? ?

Hmmmm . . . . . .
I "doubt-that".   


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