Nicknames stick with you a life time, don’t they. Maybe you’ve had a couple or that childhood name is still attached to you.
When I was a kid, I had two – the older kids on the bus called me Little Peanut – my brother was Peanut.
Then as a teenager, my friends called me Ace. This was developed through my strange infatuation with Kiss guitarist, Ace Frehley! Hey, we all have our favorite band and rock star!! To this day there are still people that I know from school that call me Ace! I’m okay with that.
After I moved into Regina and hung out with a different group of people, a crew that was kind of “rough” around the edges (know what I mean), I acquired a new nickname and to this day, will always answer to.
How does one acquire a nickname?
Well, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”, the GEORGIA HOTEL. It is long gone, but the old girl is not forgotten as the home to an eclectic gathering of people that became friends, enemies or whatever!
This was also the creation of “IVAN!”.
When I started to go to the Georgia I was 19 and those that I would “hang” around with were on average probably 5 to 10 years older than me. So of course, you’re lead down the garden path!! Bad news right, yeah kind of but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Days that mold the person you become, as we evolve and go through different phases, that Georgia crowd will always be one I will look back on fondly. Many of the men and women have passed. Living fast and furious caught up with some sooner than later.
Thursday I received alarming news that one of those friends had succumbed to cancer. And I was shocked and saddened by this loss. Such a strong, vibrant, tough, funny man GONE. How can this be.
When I was a kid meeting and getting to know the likes of Arnie Bauer, Gilbert Lowenberger, Steve Wand was actually a big learning curve. They threw things at you that you would never encounter! And much of it was just watching as a by-stander and learning some street sense! Big stuff for a kid from the country.
I’m not sure the exact party or day that I was dubbed Ivan, but I do remember the explanation. The “boys” told me they called me Ivan because I wore a ball cap and I reminded them of a mechanic friend they had – Ivan. Hey, that’s cool. I’m officially part of the gang!
There are way too many stories, lots of great memories.
Arnie’s birthday is just 2 days after mine and that was always one of the things we had in common! It was great fun running into him and his friend Kirk at Roughrider games .. Grey Cup in Toronto 2007 was one of those fantastic surprises.
That boisterous “Hello Darlin'” will be missed. I’m sure Piggy & Steve will be happy to have you back.