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 and biological Dad framed in his metal lunch bucket he carried in the forties and fifties; and a 4 generation picture of my maternal side.

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 Mother and step-dad “Smitty” the ‘Lil Energizer Bunny”

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?”

Cousins, “Boy”, Queenie, Zipper, (standing) Dinky toy, Shamey Amy, Goose Girl (sitting)

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)
“Bud”. (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)

Grandpa Bud picture with the “Santa Babes”: Liberty, Lily of the Valley, Marshmallow and Sam I Am.

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.


About joycegodwingrubbs2

Some call me retired: I am RE-FIRED. I have written 15 books, plus 3 written as a "ghost writer". I no longer offer the novels as printed books, having them only available as Kindle Ebooks since my retirement as a novelist. Twelve books are on Kindle eBooks: collectively they are known as The Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series.They are real cases fictionalized into suspense stories to protect identities..( no victim/survivor names were compromised, and workers and locations were protected.) I also co-authored a non-fiction book: Footsteps Out of Darkness: The Annabelle Kindig Story . It is available on Amazon under the name of Annabelle Kindig. I have traveled, written from the heart, and found an audience that appreciates my "platform". The catalyst to writing the novels was the realization that if I died, I would take all my amazing experiences in these real cases with me; and believe me few have lived 5 lives in one. It would "silence the voices" of the victim/survivors whose triumphs are written into these novels. The suspense series was written in part with the collaboration of police woman and sex crime expert Trula Ann Godwin. In addition to the novels, I have written as a ghost writer for a World War II veteran who fought in the South Pacific aboard the USS Maryland in all the major battles. I have also written a non-fiction book recording oral history stories of my family members beginning with the 1930's to present. There are sixty-six "legacy" stories with pictures. It was recently published as a private printing for family and close associates only. I am a published photo journalist having won the 2009 Editor's Choice Award for internet freelance news articles and pictures of the Cedar Rapid's Iowa flood victim accounts and their personal struggles.. My husband and I are in our 52nd year together (only one blip on the marital radar together), and we have adopted three greyhounds; Dex, Big Buddy and Baby Doll. These were the inspirations in the Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series We have eleven grandchildren, 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. My three children live in Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio.
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  1. I think we need to get you a special cooling fan for your very busy typing fingers, Joyce. 😀
    Enjoyed the read. My dad also smoked Lucky Strikes (is this a thing for old welders?). He’d sit by our heat register in the kitchen every morning before going off to the shop, have his cup of coffee, smoke one cig-butt and have some buttered toast. These are good memory-scents for me, however. Years later he would get off the cig-butts by going cold turkey–and he never went back to them.

  2. LOL, Rebecca: in a parrallel universe we grew up together.
    The Lucky Strike cigarette thing was pretty popular along with Camels in our family: and I do believe my dad’s fellow welders all smoked. Took my first rebelllious drag on one but became a Winston girl til I got my head on straight. He smoked them until his second bout of tuberculosis almost killed him in his late forties and left him with only one lung.Incredibly he still welded until his sixties,
    The scents were “offensive to the nose” but as I thought my dad was the most handsome man in the world with his coal black hair and Paul Newman blue eyes he was “the man”. He refused to discipline us (only once gave us a half-hearted spanking after my mother shamed him into it.)

    Thanks for “the read”. I appreciate even more your feedback as a “kindred soul.”
    Now about that fan…………………………………………………………………………..

  3. Jo Nicholson says:

    Jo Nicholson replies:I enjoyed the read of the loving monikers given to your family. It shows open affection within the family, which is a treasure to behold. It is a legacy. I grew up with a strict military dad and a stay-at-home loving mother. Although I do not specifically recall who named whom, we all came out of our childhood with a “nickname”. Most of these names were used just within the family circle, although one did make it out as a lifetime name. My eldest sister, Mary Kathleen, is still called Myrt by the rest of us, The 2nd sister, Norah Ellen is the one who has the lifetime name, Jittter (named from a cartoon monkey who climbed on everything) that Daddy gave her as a baby. Our 3rd sister, Paula Jean, died at age 4 from spinal meningitis, Our 4th sister Alice Virginia was called Nanny. Our 5th sister, Carolyn Ruth, was called Puss. I, being the 6th sister, Glenda Jo, was called Baby Jo. Then 8 years later, the “twins” came along, sister Deborah Lynn was called Debdeb and twin sister Helen Denise was called Denden. Guess the creativity waned a bit with the last two. Although my Dad did not smoke I can still smell “Old Spice” men’s shaving cologne, and it brings back childhood memories of growing up in a one bathroom home and Daddy getting up really early to get in and out before the rush of girls. When growing up, I was oblivious to these family rituals and gestures,
    but fortunately my parents (now deceased) and my six sisters all lived to an age where we now cherish these invisible, loving strings that bind us together. June 11, 2016.

    • Jo, great job, and it arrived for approval and I was so entertained and appreciative of the response. I know we have common ground even though our lives were probably polar opposites in childhood. That just means we are more privileged to have found one another now. Love the big family you had, and the nicknames. Memories are what sustain us when we are gone and I am never as grateful I recorded so many, as I am now that I’ve had strokes that “mess” with my memories. They have been the best gift my kids and grandkids could have inherited. It is the only way the new generations will ever “know” Grandma Lady” and know of our roots. Thanks for leaving a message.

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