Random Thoughts

What's in? A name 

 ... don't call me late for breakfast

by Russ Priestley

Have you heard the one about the smart aleck kid who said my friend was a sibling? And then when he called that boy's brother the same name, he got a swift punch in the eye. Sometimes it does not make much sense to have a vocabulary which is more extensive than that of your contemporaries. It can often lead to embarrassing situations because of misunderstandings.

This leads to my revelation of name confusion in my own past. My correct given name is listed above under the title of Author of this article. Because our family of four boys and one girl gained some prominence during our high school days due to our participation in sports, it has caused much inadvertent misnomering.

My brother, or sibling, Gil was the eldest. Therefore, he did not suffer in this situation. He was a triple-threat in sports and there was no one with whom to confuse him. Then my brother Bob was two years behind him. He excelled in sports, especially football. Bob was frequently called Gil. Sports writers could not get used to the change. Same family, but different persons.

Two years later I came along, so I was frequently referred to as Bob, or sometimes Bob "Russ." Those writers could not believe that there could be three of us. I entered high school in the same year which Gil graduated. but I was sometimes called Gil. They must have thought he was a slow learner.

These same reporters got a reprieve when my sister was in high school two years after me ...Russ, that is. But they were not off the hook yet because Warren (Git) came along three years later. He had two names to begin with and was confused with the previous three brothers.

In recent years I answer to any of the above. Some who still cannot differentiate will be safe by saying, "Mr. Priestley." Hey, at least they remember the last name.

Maybe our parents should have done as George Foreman, the boxer, did. His eight kids are all named George.

February 6, 2004


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