Nicknames for family members are very endearing, but can sometimes be a problem when their real names are unknown. My father recently shared a funny story about nicknames and our family members.
My paternal grandmother, Leola (Goode) Askew, while visiting her younger sister, Olivia (Goode) Bell, had a medical emergency and needed to be taken to the hospital. My 2nd cousin, Bobby Bell (Olivia’s son), took my grandmother there. Bobby knew he needed to contact my father and aunt to let them know that my grandmother was at the hospital. Bobby goes to a payphone (Remember those?) and starts searching through the phone book (Remember that big, thick book?). He begins to wonder how he’s going to look up “Baby Brotha” (my father), and “Jitta” (my aunt). Bobby had always only known them by their nicknames, but never their real names.
I didn’t get around to asking my father how Bobby was able to get the word to them about my grandmother being hospitalized. I’ll have to ask the next time we talk. However, since my father was able to share this recollection with me, it’s safe to assume that word reached him.