Nick Names Or Pet Names

Blog 2754 – 05.14.2023

Nick Names Or Pet Names

One of my dad’s earliest and longest lasting nicknames was Jake. He said it came from his boyhood and because he was usually so much in need of a haircut that friends and family started calling him “Jake the barber” which was later shortened to just Jake. I recall that his sisters and brothers still called him Jake did their children and their children’s children.

Yesterday, I finished binge watching for the second time the four seasons of the Sundance channel’s first series, Rectify. It appeals to me for several reasons, great story telling and dialogue being high on the list. But, I confess that the pretty brunette chain smoking sister Amantha reminded me much of my mama when she was young and the lead character Daniel Holden, Amantha’s brother, very much resembles my father as a young man. There are a host of other characters in story with nicknames and deep and complicated relationships to one another. In many ways the story reminds me of the book of Job in the Old Testament. We are told that all the terrible things that befell Job were to test his faith. I heard a preacher once warn against praying for patience as he quoted the New Testament verse that says, “Tribulation worketh patience.” Perhaps patience is like faith, with as little as a grain of mustard seed being more than enough to get the job done.

I have been called several nicknames over the years, none as long lasting as Jake was for my dad. When I moved back to Houston, Texas in 1979, after having returning to my hometown, Chattanooga, Tennessee for a couple of years, I got a job in shipping and receiving for a large oil tool equipment manufacturing company. I started out stocking parts on the warehouse shelves and also pulling orders and packing them for shipment. A Hispanic lady on the crew started calling me The White Shadow because she said I reminded her of the actor who played the lead role on the TV series by that name. The moniker stuck and soon the whole crew was calling me that. It was later shortened to Shadow and then a member of the crew from New Jersey, Tom Spillane, abbreviated it to just Shad. I have not see Tom in many years nor been called Shad in as many years.

My beloved little brother Robert (a.k.a. Bob) who just recently celebrated his seventy-first birthday called me “Baby” when he was three years old because he just could not get his tongue around the word David. I suppose Baby is my favorite of all the names that I have been called. There is a line from one of my favorite songs that my daughter sang that says, “I love how you call me Baby.” I always tip waitresses an extra dollar if they call me Baby and I even have Siri on my iPhone programmed to refer to me by that name.

Nicknames are pet names most times and like dogs most of us loved to be petted. Old Billy Shakespeare has many saying attributed to him. One often quoted is, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I suppose the same is also true of a Jake, a Shad, or a Baby.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

Happy Mother’s Day! My mama called me Sunshine and though gone almost twenty three years she is still very much alive in my heart and mind.

Jake O’Shawnasey

A Duet With My Baby

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s