I haven’t gone completely random in a while, that is about to change.
I don’t know if they are popular with today’s youth, but nicknames were very common with my generation. The majority of them had a short run and were limited to the immediate social circle, however some of them kind of stuck and replaced what mom and dad put on the birth certificate and became who you were, for the rest of your life.
Maybe I was a social misfit but if I had a nickname it never lasted more than a few days. Both my brothers have them; one acquired his before he had teeth, the other before he shaved. I refer to one by the nickname; the other, I remain in the minority, I call him what mom named him.
I am talking about names like: Deuce, Smurd, Moose, Cod, (don’t ask) Minnie, Chuggy, Bud, Red (I’ve known a lot of them), Toad, Hot Shot, Oggie (rhymes with boogie), Goober and the list goes on.
Some of them were friends for years before I knew their real name. I knew some of them before they got the nickname and knew the basis for the new moniker. There is usually little or no planning, it just kind of happens.
Minnie was the result of a single comment in reference to some sunglasses at a kids baseball game about 50 years ago.
I am only going to use one last name, because I think Deuce Roselius has a special ring, and I know he won’t care. One day three of us smart 12 or so year olds decided it would be cool to refer to each other as Ace, Deuce and Trey. I was Trey or maybe I was Ace for probably no more than the rest of the day, I don’t even remember who the other kid was but he didn’t continue to be called Ace. Deuce stuck, he now lives on the west coast but I’ll bet he still answers to Deuce. I saw him about 12 or 15 years ago and about three years ago we had a long phone conversation . Deuce is still my friend. His dad also had a nickname; he was Booger Roselius, I didn’t ask how he got his.
Some of those names I dropped were relatives, some were friends from school and some were the guys that helped me through the late teens and early twenties. I guess we helped each other through those fun but difficult years.
As I get older I have a few regrets. One of them is that I allowed life to interfere with the close association with Deuce and Chuggy and Oggie and Moose and many others that simply used the name their mom gave them.
I saw Oggie in the grocery store parking lot a few years ago. We had a long conversation. We talked about the old hot rodding days and some of the other things that were a part of that lifestyle and we talked about our families. I think he had ice cream or milk or we might have talked the rest of the day, we agreed to visit again soon.
Tomorrow I will attend Oggie’s funeral and say a final good-bye.
A very few weeks ago I said a final good-bye to the one we called Hot Shot.
Rest in peace Oggie and Hot Shot.
Tonight I ask for prayers for their families.
Good Night and God Bless.