The Teacup Ministry and Other Stories, Subtle Boundaries of Class,” by Rhoda H. Halperin. 200

“In the 1950s I heard people talk about ‘the pineys,’ unusual folk living in the dense mainland pine forest. They were said to be ‘different.’ Pineys were supposed to be scary for their disorganized lives and their potential for violence. There was talk about pineys sitting on porches with shotguns to keep outsiders out of the pinelands. Piney children were said to go without shoes in winter and live in houses and trailers without heat and electricity, eating deer and squirrels with the few teeth remaining in their mouths. I never saw any houses or people in the pine woods though, as we drove east on the two-lane highway toward the ocean. Only produce stands with names like Carrot Top and Greensleeves Market broke the monotony of endless pine trees. I knew, even then, that ‘piney’ was not a good word.”

Posted December 24, 2002

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