First, a personal note: On August 4th I celebrated my 86th birthday. I was overwhelmed by greetings received from mostly new friends since my old friends are nearly all gone. I composed this poem in appreciation:
Merci mes Amis for remembering me, on the eighty-six years I have lasted.
The Biblical age of seven decades, for sixteen long years I’ve outlasted.
Some things I’ve accomplished and some you’d admonish, but friends helped me muddle it through.
In hell and high water, my wife, sons and daughter were loving and loyal and true.
If I’m called tomorrow, let there be no sorrow, St. Peter please let me pass through.
Please be committed, to say, “you’re admitted, but you’re sixteen years overdue.”
Now the column:
What happens when you’ve received all the money, glory, fame, and notoriety you’ve squeezed from your profession, position or crimes? You become identified only by your first or last name, initials or nickname.
I have gathered world famous and local personalities thus recognized. I have created an award called a “Namee”, (like Emmy or Oscar), identified by this symbol (*N*), to be awarded in each category for the following reasons, (heck, it’s my award … I don’t need reasons!) It will be symbolic anyway because I ain’t buying no gold statuettes.
First name: Elvis, Madonna, Cher, Oprah, Garth, Adele and Bonnie and Clyde. (*N*) to Elvis, by a landslide.
Last name: Bacall, Liberace, Manson, Garbo and Valentino. (*N*) to Liberace, for flamboyancy.
Made up name: Sting, Pink, Twiggy, Bono, Ice-T, Mr. T and Capucine. (*N*) to Bono the Humanitarian.
Nickname: JLO, Duke, Bogey, Boss, Ike, Legs, Bugsy, Lucky and Baby Face. (*N*) to Bogey, why not?
Initials: FDR, JFK, LBJ, RR and, out of respect only, BHO. (*N*) to JFK, remember “Tee” JFK’s salute?
Now my people:
First name: Marco, Leon, Minor, Lefty, Edison, Gary, Manuel, Al, Hank, and Craig. (*N*) to Marco, elder.
First names by locality:
Code: (GM)-Golden Meadow, (G)-Galliano, (CO)- Cut Off, (L)-Larose, (LO)-Lockport, (R)- Raceland, (T)- Thibodaux (and) H- Houma.
Leo: (GM)--Theriot, (G)--Toups, (T)--Dr. Kerne
Leonard: (GM)--Miller, (R)--Falgout, (T)--Toups, (H)—Chabert
Steven: (GM)--Stall, (G)--Dr. Hebert, (R)--Wilson, (T)--a Bakery
Autin: (GM)--Leonard, (G) Alsec, (R)-- Lawrence “Ta Tan” (H)—Sausage
“Crip”: (GM)--Ledet, (G)--Eymard (R)--Breaux (note--“Crip” is no longer politically correct but it was accepted then. It was never used for girls who were less apt to have nicknames than boys. Common was “Sis” or “La Seur” and I knew at least two “Blondies”.
Charlotte: (L)--Bollinger and (T) --Randolph
(*N*) goes to Steven to honor my two dear friends, Coach and Doc … of course I’m bias.
Initials and nicknames: T.M., A.O. or Rapp; R.J., T.J., Snake, L.J., Checkerboard, Blue, Neb, and several Frogs.
If you’re a junior, it was “Tee June”. In my family Hal is not a nickname. There was Michael Hal and now Hal Michael. Hal was the name of a cherished friend at K.T.I.B. who died of a heart attack at age 29, mowing his lawn. (*N*) for initials T.M. and (*N*) nickname to Rapp.
Less known were my friends Pupe, Le Petit, Mouchon, Web, Nay Nay, Poo Lute, Gro, Red, Black and Blue, and two Joes, although their actual names were Angelo and Westley. I knew many by their nickname only and many Cajun boys first learned their real names when they brought their birth certificate to the draft board. (*N*) These were my friends---they all get one.
If you were a Cajun and your parents named you John, Jack or Jim, it didn’t matter. If your dad’s name was Edward, Joseph or Philip, you would be Tee Ed, Tee Joe, or Tee Phil. My cousin known throughout the music world as Joe Barry was Joseph Barrios, Jr. But in Cut Off he will always be “Tee Joe”.
And now the Golden “Namee” (**GN**) goes to the most loved act of all times--Curley, Larry, Moe and --Pott--? There were four of them? Well I’ll be darned!
Oh! There’s Lee, but he’s insignificant so I’ll just ignore him.
Comments are welcomed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on Tue, August 18, 2015
by The Lafourche Gazette