Tammy Faye’s Life and Bawlamerese: Two Exaggerations

by Jackie Nickel (Essex Avenue News, 7/25/2007)

Tammy Faye Bakker was on TV just prior to her death last week, seeming to want to earn the respect from us she did not achieve in life. While some accept her as an inspirational figure, I could not get out of my mind the pictures of her wailing next to her first husband Jim Bakker as he was hauled off to prison a few years ago. You can’t convince me she was not an accomplice in whatever financial crime he committed. I’m not judging on whether or not she earned enough credits to get through the pearly gates, just this incident for which she could be remembered. Maybe she did a lot of good in her lifetime to earn our respect, but it didn’t gain my attention, except for its entertainment value. 10 points for the false eyelashes, 10 points for the beehive hairdos of earlier years…


…And speaking of beehives, I can’ wait to see the new movie “Hairspray,” but nothing can ever beat the original version which was filmed inBaltimore. John Waters, director of the original movie, said on TV Sunday that John Travolta’s dialect in Divine’s former role sounds “part alien / part Bawlamerese.” From the clips I’ve seen I agree. One morning last week on TV, Travolta was bragging about his mastering of theBaltimoredialect, but in the footage I’ve seen he was way off – “Hon…”


…And while on the subject of “Hons,” I believe I have one of the area’s best / worst Bawlamer accents. Some words I can and do try to control; the rest seem to want to control me. It’s kind of neat though – my friends and I have used Bawlemerese in greetings for years: It’s “Hi, Hun.” We don’t say a pure “Hon.” So… Have a good week, “Hun.”

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