One thing about growing up in a small town (well, for the most part), is that everyone knows everyone else. In Beaufort, though, you could also be related to that other person. Cousins go WWWWAAAAYYYY down the line and live on nearby islands and towns. Sometimes you see them in school, in church, at the store, etc. Those are your folks.
It's the same way when you start dating. You tell your parents you've met this guy that you think is cute. Mama nods and says, "Uh huh", as you tell her about his pretty eyes, and his nice smile. And, just when you thought you were finished, she asks you his name again. You tell her, and then she says, no, his family name. Where is he from? Who dey folks??? Translation: Who are his kinfolks? Did he and his "come ya" or is he a "bin ya"? My folks are bin yas. Translation: We've been here - on the Beaufort islands.
In one of my prior blog entries, I mentioned that the church I grew up in was the same church that my mother, my grandmother, and my great-grandmother grew up in. These are the Grayson's. My great-grandfather's people, the Frazier's, are from Hilton Head Island. My grandfather's father's people, the Pazant's, are from Savannah, GA. Beyond that, records show Cuba, and of course, the Motherland. The people in this collage are from the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. These are my folks, the bin yas.
My love for rice, seafood, fresh vegetables, comes from these people. All of them had a love for learning, a love for music, a love for cooking, and a love for teaching. They loved their God, their people, their community, the islands, the water, and so do I. I consider myself quite fortunate to have inherited that same kind of love. I'm teaching it to my girls, and we will teach it to their children. They, too, will know who dey folks are. Who ya folks???