A bee visits one of the sunflowers in the Boonville Hotel vegetable garden
It’s been a long time since I took a road trip up to Mendocino County. A long dark rainy winter was followed by chemo and its aftereffects, making road trips a challenge. I have every belief that better times lie ahead.
That said, I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people who love road tripping and I often hitch a ride. A few weeks ago, I headed up to Mendocino County with a friend, exploring some of the little towns on CA State Route 128.
Labor Day 2011. Joshua decided to take a few hours off of work and came by to pick me up for a road trip. We deliberated over a couple of options and finally decided to go to Mendocino County and visit Boonville on CA State Route 128. After looking at the map we thought we’d drop in on the neighboring towns of Philo and Yorkville, as well.
Check out this recent article about Boontling by Jemetha Clark Cosgrove of The Backyard Traveler (http://traveler.blogs.petaluma360.com/author/jemetha). Here’s a teaser – click on the links at the end for the entire article, including glossary:
Boontling refers to the language (ling) of Boonville (Boont). Based on English it was an elaborate jargon that made the people of Boonville unintelligible to even the residents of Philo, just six miles away. It most likely started from young men working in the hops fields as a way to have private conversations amongst other people and, more specifically, to freely use nonch harpin’s (objectionable or “dirty” words). In the forty years (1880-1920) that the language was prevalent it spread through much of the community. It wasn’t considered “proper” in formal places like church but it was spoken so much that some Boonters (speakers of Boontling) had a hard time speaking plain English on command.
A video about the origins of Boontling, the folk language spoken exclusively in Boonville. This video was found on youtube on Jules Older’s channel (www.youtube.com/julesolder). More about Jules is available on his website (www.julesolder.com).