What do we call him? Part 1
Ever since I was a couple days old, the question has been asked, "What do we call him?" I was the first baby boy in our family. Because of that, I inherited my given name Emory Luther Reeves, Jr. You can call me any of those if you like--I might not answer to "Junior" unless you're my dad.
Well, there in good ol' Roper Hospital in Charleston, a friend asked my mother, "What will you call him?" I guess the prevailing logic was that should Momma need assistance and yell, "Emory!" that neither my dad or I would come running believing she meant the other one. A few nicknames were batted about. I was this close to being Em. Finally the friend suggested, "Call him Chip."
In 1969, "Chip" was the proper nickname to give a youngster in order say a little more about the boy's parents relationship to "the man". To put this in perspective, my wife's middle name is Lalena (la-lay-nya), which is the title of a Deep Purple song, ya dig?
I have had fun all my life being Chip. The good thing about having the nickname is that I have enjoyed getting to define who Chip is without a lot of worry about being Emory. Of course, as a teenager, he would always remind me, "Remember whose son you are." Wasn't hard to forget. It's on my driver's license and Social Security card.
There was that short period of time when I contemplated a name change. I had reached one of those rites of passage moments in life and I felt that as a more mature individual I wanted to go by a name that would welcome people to take me more seriously. "Call me Emory," I requested--the day I graduated from kindergarten.
I probably don't have to tell you that "Chip" quite often finds too many prefixes and suffixes easily attached. I don't mind. There are listeners who don't hear and they call me Skip or Jim, and there are readers who don't look closely and they call me Chris. I have devious plans for these folks. I even hope for the opportunity to butcher their names over a loudspeaker one day. "It's a pleasure to introduce you to Mr. Juh-hon Su-mitt-huh!" Oh yeah, John Smith, you're on my list.