Aunt Margaret commented recently that I was a “real detective. Give her a computer and no telling what she can learn.” She was referring to information that I had unearthed on-line, relating to some of Dad’s poems. I confess that I love to search the Internet, and it all started with Boyd and the word strubley.
About ten years ago, Andrew came across the word strubley in a Newberry Honor book called My Side of the Mountain. The main character, runaway Sam Gribley, found a strubley peregrin falcon that he eventually trained to help him survive in the Catskill Mountains. Andrew and I wanted to know more about the interesting adjective. When he couldn’t find the definition in our dictionaries or Austin Public Library dictionaries, I took over the search, and called Perry-Castanada Library—The University of Texas main library. I waited on hold while a librarian consulted the unabridged Webster’s dictionary. When the mammoth tome failed to yield the word in any form, the librarian volunteered to personally conduct a search of all of UT’s specialty libraries. One week later, he disappointedly reported that he had failed in his mission to locate a reference to the unique term.
In a telephone conversation with Boyd, I described my unsuccessful quest for strubley. A short time later, he called back with the explanation. I could hardly believe it! He explained that a quick Internet search had revealed the meaning of the word. That afternoon I listened attentively to Mark as he gave me a lesson on search engines and how to navigate the Internet, and I’ve been an avid searcher ever since.
Hannah and Andrew are fond of pointing out when my hair is strubley, and Hannah goes so far to say that at times my hair resembles a cardinal’s crest :)). By now, you know what this Pennsylvania Dutch expression means. The sole example of its usage on the Internet reads: “‘Sadie, your hair’s strubley,’ [which] is his way of telling little daughter that her crowning glory isn’t sleek and smooth.”
Dad had requested a haircut so that he would look his best for the full day of appointments scheduled for tomorrow at M. D. Anderson. A Vietnamese hair stylist named TNN took extra care in cutting his hair yesterday. When she had finished giving him a meticulous haircut, Dad told her that he had his hair cut and a shave in Tokyo, in 1952. The barber worked at least thirty minutes with the same attention to detail. The cost? Twenty-five cents. Dad is quite pleased with his $14.95 haircut: his hair is no longer strubley.