The thought for today began with the question, “What’s the story behind your nickname?” I initially thought, “Can I tell that story succinctly and interestingly enough to avoid readers moving on or falling asleep?” Oh, well! Perhaps you need a nap or a bedtime story.
I was born shortly after the end of World War II. There is a high probability I was conceived about thirty minutes after my father arrived home from the war. Dad was not a patient man, and after reading some of the letters he wrote to Mom from North Africa, only one thing was on his mind.
Whatever the time frame of my conception, the nickname thing started before I was born. Mom named me after Stephen Foster and Erich von Stroheim. My folks lived with my grandfather at the time, and he had problems with both men but agreed to Stephen Eric Jackson. Then, since he did not like Stephen, he started calling me Stevie, which drove my mother nearly crazy.
Mom was just a country girl with an eighth-grade education. However, she wasn’t a dummy. She started using nicknames after giving up trying her best to get her father-in-law to use my full first name. Over the years, I was called by numerous nicknames. I cannot remember the earliest ones, but I’m certain Butchie or something like it was used.
As I got older, they changed. I was called Buddy, Bubba, Jack, John, and possibly other names I have forgotten. The last name she used was George. The reason she quit using them at that time is funny, but you’ll need to read my memoir to get the scoop on that. Of course, that depends on me getting the thing finished.
So, that is the story of how my nicknames came about. However, the story is boring unless you are into family drama and have a good imagination. Still, as I grew older, the problems with my naming brought about some humorous moments.
Check back next week and see if I’ve had time to write about what happened when Mom changed my name without making it legal.
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