Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Slipping Off


Long time Blind Pig reader and family friend Lonnie Dockery – Swain County NC

Granny used to accuse Pap of slipping off right when she needed his help. Every once in a while The Deer Hunter slips off and I have no idea where he’s at. I don’t ever seem to have enough time to slip off and if I did, I’m pretty sure somebody would come looking for me before I got very far.

When Chatter was about three years old she got mad and decided she’d slip off. The Deer Hunter had the garage door cracked a little for the dog. Chatter went down in that pitch black basement; crawled under the garage door; and down the hill she went. Once I started missing her I was worried to death. She knew I would be, but thought Granny and Pap would protect her from my wrath.

I used to walk part way down the hill to meet the girls when they got off the school bus. One day I quickly noticed there was three girls instead of two. A little girl they went to school with had decided she was going to come home with the girls and slipped off the bus. I knew her parents would be in a panic when she didn’t get off the bus, but I didn’t even know their names to call them. I got them all in the house and called the school who helped me get in touch with her grandmother.

Years back Bradley, a Blind Pig reader, left the following comment about a different type of slipping off.

“Once I had a friend that was the assistant to the top person in management. Well, this person was to retire and before he left my name was brought up in conversation. He reportedly said that I amazed him. No, he didn’t find me special in any way but one. “He seems to be moderately intelligent but, I have watched him and no matter how tedious or repetitious the jobs they put on him he seems to be totally unaffected; it never bothers him.”

I never told my friend how I did it. Actually, the reason it never bothered me was because I WAS NEVER THERE! I learned I could always lose myself in my own little world or just go wandering into that vague geography of the heart. Sure, I get lonesome for people and times past like everyone but, the good memories can in most cases compensate for the lonesome.”

Its nice to be able to slip off and get away from things, but its downright wonderful to slip off in our mind as Bradley described.


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  • Reply
    Tom Deep
    February 1, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    I will never forget when our 4 year old slipped off by going out her bedroom window. She headed for a little store down the way. Luckily my wife checked on her nap and went looking for her. She found her before she reached the store. Probably wanted to get some candy.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    February 1, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    As a child my mother would say that I was bad to slip off. I didn’t always do it intentionally but other times I did and when I did I had to pay the price for not being where I suppose to be. When I was in my early teens I would hang out at my dad’s gas station and I would walk uptown and slip off to the pool hall where I wasn’t suppose be due to the gambling and salty language that went on there. I fell in love with with the game of pool and discovered I was pretty good at it. Every chance I got I was there shooting pool and getting an “education” from some of the regulars. As I became older I was allowed to go as as long as I did pick up any bad habits.
    I played several time a week well into my twenties. I haven’t played in years but have fond memories of being there. Now I just slip off in my mind to times gone by.
    Great story Bradley!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    “Slipping off in the mind” – kinda like day-dreamin’ A good way to pass the time when doing monotonous chores.
    I took off one time – the grief the family gave me when I got back (less than an hour later!) really put a damper on it . . . .

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    February 1, 2019 at 11:29 am

    I am a practitioner of the mental slip off. Really helps to keep me calm when things around me are not so calm. There have been times when I couldn’t slip off, either physically or mentally!

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    February 1, 2019 at 11:27 am

    My friend and slipped off from UCHS once in 1960 and were in a heap o’ trouble until we told our principal, Mr. Leroy Fargason that had sold over $100.00 worth of ads for our senior yearbook.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 11:25 am

    I slip off like Bradley ever day when I read your post. I remember lots of experiences from the past.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Bradley is describing what I call “affordable travel”…and at the end of the day, the traveler always gets to sleep in their own comfortable bed 🙂

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 9:24 am

    I remember slipping off one time as a child, my aunt thought my parents had allowed me to come play with my cousins so she just loaded me up with them and went to piano practice, Dad and Mom looked every where for me, when my Aunt dropped me off at home, Dad walked straight to a tree and broke off a limb with tears in his eyes and, Well lets just say I still remember it, walking off without permission was a thing of the past.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Most of the time when I hear that someone has slipped off, I think of them sneaking off. Slipping off and getting married is one that comes to mind. I would rather have someone slip off than slip up on me.
    If you slip off and someone comes looking, it just goes to show how much you are loved!

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    February 1, 2019 at 8:42 am

    You knew that picture of Lonnie would bring back memories for a couple of your readers. Although I’d never seen it before, I know exactly where and when that picture was taken – on the lower part of the trail portion of our (mostly) bushwhack up Juneywhank Branch on February 5, 2011 – the day we laid Daddy to rest and then retreated to the old home place where his fondest childhood memories lingered. There were seventeen of us on that journey, including you, good old Lonnie with whom I was blessed to share several outings before he slipped off and left us, Chatter and Chitter. Here’s the whole group:

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 1, 2019 at 8:40 am

    I never got to meet Bradley, but I will! I only knew him through your blog but he made an impression on me that stood him above most. Bradley was a good man!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 8:37 am

    Lovely story! Nothing more scary than a child slipping off. Probably most mothers have experienced that while raising children. Different story for a Mother – a Mother can’t even go to the bathroom without suddenly hearing her name broadcast like a urgent emergency. I do like the idea of taking a brief hiatus in the wonderful workings of the mind. I think that “slipping off” has also been used by older siblings to get away from a younger sibling that wants to tag along.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 1, 2019 at 8:20 am

    That’s a retreat of the spirit and they are the best kind. Now Tip, I would wonder what made you remember that lovely quote from Bradley.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 1, 2019 at 8:10 am

    I think you have hit upon why I like solitary walks in the woods. I slip off on my feet to slip off in my mind. One way I do that is to have a walking prayer (sometimes out loud but if you meet me I’m harmless). I just let my thoughts run hither and yon. I walk awhile, talk awhile, break off to focus on something in the here and now then just think free-wheeling. Taken altogether it is a vacation for the mind and – at its best – the heart to.

    I might just slip off today.

    By the way, two kindred spirits can slip off together and neither interferes with the other.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    February 1, 2019 at 7:29 am

    My Mother used to say you will never be lonely as long as you have memories and they are the one thing no one can take from you.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 7:18 am

    It seems the older I get the more I “mindfully” slip off. Life is a blessing.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 6:58 am

    Beautiful country in the mind of Bradley. What a good story!

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