Rubber baby buggy bumpers……

While driving down the Hamakua coast of Hawaii toward work one day this week, I listened to the DJ stumble over a phrase as he read the news.  The phrase contained a long repetition of consonant sounds. Alliteration.  He started….stammered….restarted….stumbled……and finally said “lets move on…” and he did.

I was immediately transported to another time and place: South River School in Mt. Clemens, Michigan.  1963.

I remember it being said of me “She couldn’t say shit if she had a mouthful!!!” And so off to speech therapy I went. I had a lisp, and I “double u’d” my r’s.

I remember reciting (I’m certain to the great annoyance of anyone who had to listen….) “she sells sea shells down by the seashore,”  and “rubber baby buggy bumpers”

I had not thought about those speech lessons in years until hearing the DJ’s difficulties, and certainly wouldn’t have suggested that the therapy had any impact on my later life.

Except……I realize that I am a good public speaker. I give a good sermon…..(if I say so myself…), speak clearly, engagingly….(if I say so myself).  I sing. Without a lisp or a “wubber lip.”

And so, even though it’s quite (about 50 years…..) belated…..Thanks, speech therapist. Whoever you were…..