Harpin' Boont

Here's a youtube video posted by a very nice travel writer, Jules Older, that features Bill Charles, Nancy Charles and myself talking about Boontling! Of course, the star of the show is long-time valley resident Wes Smoot, who my father helped track down for the story.

Boontling, for those who don't know, is a language invented here in Anderson Valley years and years ago. Only a handful of people still speak it fluently. My father can tell some mean nursery rhymes and speak some full sentences, whereas my brothers and I can only really translate words and small phrases.

There is one side note that I always tell people - this language is chock full of sexist, racist and otherwise non-politically correct words. You have to think about the times that it was invented during. Of course, there are also plenty of words for every day items and tasks, and a lot of ranching and farming lingo as those were the big games back then.

There are a few things in the valley still named in Boontling, but, honestly, it's mostly by brightlighters (outsiders from the city) who come here and think it's cute to name things in Boontling. We did name our wine club Eight High, but I think we have the four-generation history here to do it justice. (See the full meaning of Eight High and wine club details here.)

The morning this was filmed I was dealing with a sick horse, so excuse the lack of make-up and thank goodness he didn't film my nasty clothes! I did say he was nice, right?


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