Listening to the radio the other day, I landed on 730 AM and News 10 Weekend Sports anchor Jeremy Sampson filling in on "Staudt on Sports." Somewhere between a Tim-tracked commercial for windows and doors and a reciting of every sporting event ever played in a domed stadium on a Thursday night with teams that start with the letter "S" since the dawn of time by the producer Brock, came a caller from Perry.
Jeremy: Let's go out to Gary on line 3. Hi Gary.
Caller: Hi J.J. It's your Uncle Gary in Perry.
Jeremy: Oh, hi Uncle Gary.
In that moment I knew exactly how Jeremy felt about the nickname J.J. He answered the same way I do when someone calls me that. "Oh... hi there." Jeremy's came from his little sister not being able to say "Jeremy" when he was a kid and she just said "J.J." Mine came from my name, Jason James. It was my grandma's bright idea to go with that so she could have the nickname. She later masterminded the naming of my brother Ryan Ralph, so they could call him "R.R." Say that out loud and quick. Yeah... that one lasted shorter than mine. At about age 5, I laid down the law with everyone and demanded to be called Jason. Jeremy did the same at some point and like me, when he hears the name J.J. he knows exactly who it is-- Uncle Gary. When I hear it, I know I'm talking to a member of the Lance family in St. Johns. The mother used to work for my grandparents at the restaurant and the kids used to babysit me when I was young.
I keep waiting for my youngest, Alison Jule, to stand up and demand the same sort of thing I did. I hope it never happens, because it was me who wanted the nickname "A.J." so much. We'll see if what goes around comes around.