Below is a copy of an original newspaper column written by our classmate, David Davis. At the time he wrote this, he was not only the humor columnist for the local paper, but also a church pastor. This column is contributed by the author.
-- David Davis
Are you a well adjusted, kind, considerate person? Do you get along well with society?
Do you get a safe driver discount? Does your mother tell people you are her child? If all these things are true about you then you probably had either a nickname or a pet name as a child. I mention this because I have talked to several Moms lately who insisted that their child be called by his or her real name. They objected to having their baby referred to as Spanky, or Bubba . They are endangering the psyche of their child and someone must tell them!
Let me explain. I first noticed this when I lived over in the town of Avera. That wonderful metropolis is one of those small towns that big city people dream about living in. It is more Mayberry than Mayberry! When I first moved into the town there were just two businesses there. One was a gas station that offered handshake credit. The other was a combination grocery, hardware, meat market with that same credit and friendly conversation. There was a post office that you could get all the news from if you went down there before the mail got put up. Everyone did. It wasn't gossip. We were networking.
As the new pastor I got the tour and the history of the city. An amazing fact came up. Every man and many of the ladies had been given a nickname as a child. Some of the old fellows down at the chinaberry tree had passed these out as the mood hit them. Now folks got to considering these as real names so much so that their real names were almost forgotten. One day one of my deacons went to the hospital and I almost didn't find him. They had him listed under his real name and nobody had called him that in over 70 years. Also I kept being asked if I knew a fellow named Moon. I declared I did not. I later found out he was one of my favorite people.
Now not all the names were as nice as that. One lady told me if I put the name I had been told was her Dad's in the paper she would run me out of the county. Scrap and Snot were less sensitive about their names. One nice lady that I asked for her husbands nickname told me she had worked for over 30 years trying to get people to forget it!
All this being true you might wonder why I think nicknames are so important. Well, I found that all the people I met who had nicknames there were wonderful people. They were kind, considerate and well adjusted. I think nicknames had a lot to do with it. Lets consider why. First the use of a nickname makes using the real name more important. If you have been called Buster all day and suddenly Mom call you Kenneth! Well. You know you better listen up. It also works if you have a really bad middle name. Let's say they call you Sammy but your real name is Samuel Lehigh Jones. If you are out in public and you know one more outburst will cause Mom to call you by that name in front of all your friends....Would you risk it? Your friends would forget Sammy and call you Kneehigh or Beehive or Sam-u-ELLLE... for weeks. You would have to lock yourself in your room.
You new moms lighten up! Would you rather have a Corey who skips school or a Bubba who washes your car for you?
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