2009-10-10 / Viewpoints

Through An Old Timer’s Eyes

BY HOWARD ‘MAC’ MCDONALD

Last week I wrote about truckers and their CB handles. I had a CB on my snowmobile, wore a red snowmobile suit and a red helmet, thus my CB handle was the Red Baron.

The real Red Baron was a German fighter pilot ace in World War I who shot down a whole bunch of Allied pilots. According to what I have read about him, he was shot down by a lone rifleman on the ground.

I am a fan of Charles Schultz, now deceased, who drew the comic strip “Peanuts.” His main characters were Charlie Brown and a dog named Snoopy. Sometimes Snoopy would pretend he was the Red Baron and his doghouse was a Sopwith Camel fighter plane. He was always winging his way all over the skies.

CB handles and nicknames are a lot alike. A nickname can stick to you for a lifetime. When I was a kid, my dad was the local Justice of the Peace and that person in that position was usually called Squire. The kids all hung that name on me and all through grade school, I answered to Squire

My mother had a few pet names for me, one being Glummy Guckles. She used that name when she wasn’t happy with my actions. When I found out about girls, she called me the Tin- Eared Sport. To this day, I do not know what she was referring to.

When I was in the Air Force stationed in France, there was a young airman by the name of Gary Oliver who was a pretty good artist. He painted a picture on the left side of my bird, underneath the pilot’s cockpit window, of a fat staff sergeant and called it Fat Mac. That nickname stayed with me for ten years.

This part of the good old USA is noted for its nicknames. I have been working at the school bus garage in Coudersport and I asked this one tall young man what his nickname was. I thought it might be Slim or Shorty, but as usual I was wrong. He told me his nickname was Long Legs and it was given to him by a girlfriend. That’s as much of that story as I am going to tell.

They have some real lively nicknames in Coudersport. About everybody knows Smitty, who is the Dick Clark of Potter County and a popular fixture at the Emporium Country Club. They also have a Beak, a Bowser, and they tell there are three brothers all nicknamed Booger. Then there’s Toad, Turk, Lob, and the borough manager’s nickname is Mud. How about that?

Some of you older folks from around Emporium will remember the East End Ruberto brothers -- Lunch, Rags and last but not least, Ugh.

My neighbor up the street is Dipstick Royer. He got that name when he used to service all our equipment. If he didn’t have a rag, he would stick the dipstick in his armpit and wipe it clean.

Ray Schneider got tagged as Hairy Bugger when young Jeff Abriatis first saw him and asked his dad, “Who’s that hairy bugger?”

Beast, Boo, Bull, Salty, Slick are just a few more who are known better by their nicknames that their given names.

It is amazing how much money this movie company has been spending in our area. With all the tents set up in the Little League complex, it reminds me of when the big circus used to come to town.

I know one gentleman who will probably have a new pickup and snow plow after the scene at the ballfi eld plays out.

Has any one seen the star, Denzel Washington? I imagine that he won’t spend much time in this area. Not much here to entice a movie star to stay.

If the rains don’t knock the leaves off, we will have lots of color to offer. To me, they are more beautiful than the bright lights of Hollywood or the Big Apple.

When the movie people leave and all the glitz and glamour goes with them, we can go back to being at the head of the unemployment line.

Four months without a state budget and they say they are representing us. Come on gang, get your act together.

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