A few weeks ago while doing what I love to do at work, I was talking to a couple that often visits my place of employment. While doing part of my management duties (conversing with the customers) I was reminded of something that happened to me many eons ago which led to me writing this particular column and asking “what’s in a name anyway?” What I was reminded of was a long long (long) time ago when I first started dating (yeah I’ve got the permission of the last person that I dated to include this in this column). Anyway as I was saying, this young woman that I had just started to date, one day informed me that her dad didn’t want her to date me anymore. Huh, what? Did I hear you correct, your dad don’t want you to date me? Me? The nicest guy that I know. “Why? Your dad doesn’t even know me” I reminded her. “no” she assured me “but he knows your dad”. My dad? Wait, what did he have to do with us? My name is Ronald, (yeah I was a Ronald before I was Ron) his name was Louis, the only thing that we had in common was our last name Banks. So I guess that was it, this man(my father) that by all means was a good man at one time he was a good athlete a good citizen a good husband and father. But that was before the alcohol changed the man. So I’m sure that this was the man that this young woman’s father must have known. But like I said what’s in a name anyway? (by the way if anyone see this man who shall remain nameless, please let him know that I’ve got a much better father-in-law anyway). What’s in a name anyway? Isn’t it funny how some people become better known for their nicknames than their mommy given names. Those that ran in the same circle as me when I was still known as (once again Ronald) most likely recall some of the following nicknames: ‘lil ole Boy’ ‘Crowder’ ‘Popeye’ ‘Pop’ ‘Po Dog’ ‘Tenny Tiny’ ‘Dinny’ and the list goes on. If I asked how many of you went to school with a guy named John? I’m sure everyone reading this can raise their hand, well let’s change John to ‘Bo’ ahhhh I see a lot of hands have receded there. There are many things that I remember from my school days, (nope it has nothing to do with the 3 Rs( readin, ritein or rithematic) it has to do with,(you guessed it) names. Two things that I’ll always remember are, one morning during homeroom a new student was introduced, now I can’t for the world remember this persons first name, guess i wasn’t fully awake when the teacher announced it but I was surely awake when she announced her last name “let’s welcome a new student ‘Blah-Blah’ Banks from Pepsi Cola Florida” ‘Blah-Blah’ Banks from Pepsi Cola Florida?! 1st of all she was a SHE all the Banks’s I knew were males, (I had 3 brothers and a father). 2nd of all SHE was a Banks. Now I don’t know how many students there were in that big old school, but I do know up to that moment I was the only Banks that declared “here” each morning at 8:30 when the roll was called. And 3rd where the heck was Pepsi Cola Florida? I’d never heard of it but it did sound like a fine place to live. Sadly to say within a weeks time I reclaimed my sole ownership of being the solitaire Banks in that big old school once again. when roll was called on Monday morning ‘Blah-Blah’ Banks failed to answer the call. And oh yeah, that fine place I thought was Pepsi Cola Florida was actually Pensacola Florida, now that didn’t sound as fine. Yes I did say that were two things that I’d remember about my days in school, the other also had to do with (you guessed it) a name. Now you may not remember anything that I’ve written here within a week or so, but just like myself and all those that were present that day during our first day of middle school I’ll be almost willing to bet that you’ll remember what I’m about to share with you for a long time if not forever. The teacher had asked each student if their name was correct in the roll book and what name would they like to be called. She called a guy named Richard, he stood up and with a deep call country twinge he said “call me Buck B-U-C-K Buck”. For the rest of his middle and high school career he was known as B-U-C-K Buck. So you may know a Richard Ronald ‘Blah-Blah’ or John, but no matter what name they go by, the name doesn’t define the person that they are so please call me Ron R-O-N Ron.
Banks may not mean anything to many of you but Ron Banks, now that’s a name you can remember.