SHAMES, NAMES AND FAMILY CLAIMS (A LEGACY STORY AND IRREVERENT BLOG: TONGUE IN CHEEK BUT TRUE.)
Well, if this doesn’t show our white trash genetics, nothing will. Of course, I have always said, we had so many black sheep in the family we hid the white ones. When I first heard the saying about being “from the wrong side of the tracks” I had no question in my mind it was about my family as we lived in three houses that sat on the “other side of the tracks on a dead end road.” Who else could it mean? My one attempt to set that record straight was when I became a published author; I wrote a suspense novel titled “From the Wrong/Strong Side of the Tracks”.
My biological dad was known to swear, and yet, that was nothing unusual for the males in that side of family and his age group. But there was one word that would set my nerves on edge, and I truly can’t tell you why. It would always seem more offensive than many others I heard in my youth.
• The word was “dukey”. Or, maybe it was “dookey“. I don’t really know as I never have heard anyone in my entire life, except my biological dad, say the word let alone see it written to know how it was spelled.
My interpretation, from the way it was used, was that it was another word for ‘feces, crap, s— etc’. But, on the rare occasion I heard my dad say it, it was like fingernails on a chalk board to me. And, sadly I have to admit it conjures up the smell of stale smoke from Lucky Strike Cigarettes and my father’s daily “toilet ritual” in the morning. Oddly, I remember it still at my ripe old age of 69 though the last “dukey” experience I would have heard would have been no later than the age of maybe 8.
My mother’s favorite sayings were;
• “Now when we assume … that makes an “ass out of u and me“.
We’ve all endured that one, right?
• And this one: ”Write it down, make a list, and everyday mark it off as you do it ,and then make a new one. You cannot be successful without a successful list”.She never missed a day making her list.
• If you tried to talk over some problem or failure, and needed consoling, you were met with, “Well, did you use your list? Did you have it all down in black and white so you could deal with it?”
Mother used to give so many lectures that when we talked about one of them, we’d label it with numbers like: Lecture #999, was about talking with your mouth full; Lecture #345, might be attributed to being about curfews.
My mother also had a unique way of dispensing sex education information. She would instruct her grandchildren about their “utensils“. Her word for the male appendage.
My sister’s favorite was “Pretty is, as Pretty does“, and “The good die young so the evil can live on to repent.” Her plea (even at the end of her life) was, “Don’t let them bury me in a shroud. I don’t want to go to heaven with my butt showing”.
I am told my sayings I am known for include, “Trust me” (not always followed by a successful encounter): and the inevitable, “But they needed it and didn’t have any” This one caused me to be immortalized on the front page of the Des Moines Register newspaper. My son revealed in an interview that I had given away our Christmas tree one year when he and his siblings were still young: so we didn’t have a tree that Christmas. Our elderly neighbors didn’t have a tree and she so admired mine: what else could I do? The truth was, our youngest daughter tried to “fix” things and bought a tiny foot high Christmas tree with her own money to fill the void. The others in the family were having none of it. No Christmas spirit there. This sort of fits in with the fact that, if anyone can’t find anything in our home, the saying is always, “Who did mom give that too?”
My husband is famous for saying/admonishing: “You have to have your oars in the water“. If you sought consultation or counseling from him, he would always inquire about your proverbial oars, or sum up your problem as being a result of the oars not being in the proverbial water. And of course, his never failing goodbye of, “Don’t forget to use your seat belt, and drive like you’ve got good sense”.
My husband was also responsible for nick naming just about everyone in the family. Listed here are family nicknames from the entire span of family members including, but not limited to, the ones he doled out: and a few given by the rest of the family:
Cunkie,.Queenie, The Lioness. (oldest daughter)
Goose Girl, Ray of Sunshine. (youngest daughter)
Boy. Sono, Stevie-Weevie, Sonny-boy, Erico.(only son)
Old Woman (mine given to me by him before we even left the platform of our wedding ceremony. I was all of 18 and it stuck for 50 years thus far.) Grandma Lady (my best known moniker from my first born grandchild). JoJo the dog faced girl (childhood from biological dad) And Bunny (acknowledged in the novel “From the Wrong/Strong Side of the Tracks” ) and Duchess from my step-dad.
“T”, Poo Poo, ( my sister who identified with Winnie the Poo with her grandchildren).Truly Fair (from her teen years).Legs (She could run like the wind and when she became a pioneer police woman, she was known for being able to run and “catch them” to the admiration of her male peers)
RRD, (Rhoda rum dum), RoRo. (niece)
Shamey Amy, Little Baby Doll. (niece)
“Z “(short for “zipper” when our nephew got his “utensil” zipped up in his jeans and had to go to the emergency room and have the zipper cut loose.).
Dinky Toy, (nephew)
Monkey, Ja-bo (nephew)
Smitty, Bud, Doc, Lil EnergizerBunny, Gravy Head (my step-dad)
Lil, Lily (of the Valley), Rica (granddaughter)
Bad-um Adam, Peach, (grandson\
Z J., Zackie, Bean. (grandson)
Putty. (yes it was definitely from the “sounds” he made in his diapers and at 22 years old, he is still called Putty in the family and by friends. (grandson)
Marshmallow, Aspy, Weiner. (granddaughter)
Noseboy. Buckeye, J.W. (grandson)
Flubber, Hawkeye. (grandson)
Big Belly. Big Butt. Kota man. (grandson)
Liberty,Liv, Short Stuff (granddaughter)
Sam I Am. Sammy Sue. Sassy, Cindy Lu Who. (granddaughter)
Lund (interchangeable for my husband and his two brothers).
Uncle Shack. (brother-in-law)
Hermie Honey. Jim Kent. Grandpa Bud, S,O.B (relates to his stubbornness thus Stubborn Old B——). (my hubby) Affectionately used and Gpa approved.
Favorite Wisconsin Son in law, Lonny, .(son in law)
Favorite Ohio Son in law.(other son in law)
Kel, Daughter-in-love, Favorite Daughter in law (can’t show favorites you know)
Favorite Oklahoma sister in law.(only sister in law)
I am not sure what all of this says about our family, or how happy it makes you that you aren’t a part of this family, but I just wanted to be sure some of the “monikers” of the family are not to be forgotten.
After all, in many cases they become a legacy too.