We all have relatives we were around a good bit growing up but never really knew a whole lot about, thinking back I remember my Moms Dad as one of those people who I loved but never really knew.
I remember Papa as being a very quiet and soft-spoken man, he was known to drink a good bit at times which got him into trouble, but I really don’t ever really remember him causing any trouble to speak of, I have been told that he was an excellent mechanic and could tear down and rebuild a motor making it look easy. He actually lived with us for a while and during that time I still learned very little about him.
I do know that my Brothers middle name Paul came from Papa, Mom chose this name because it was her Dad’s and the funny thing about this now, begins with the fact that everyone who knew him called him Junior or Paul, we were always told that his name was Junior Paul, I found his World War I Draft registration and it lists him as P Jr., the 1930 Census shows his name as Junior, and Junior Paul is the name on his tombstone so why in the world would his name ever be questioned.
I found his Fathers, my Great Grandfathers obituary his name was Anderson Anthony Sr., there is my first clue and the next clue came with no son listed as Junior Paul but the only son living in the town my Papa lived in was Anderson Anthony Jr., Now I am beginning to question what his name was, it appears that the P Jr. on the Draft registration was actually A Jr. which was transposed as a P, now the question of where the name Paul came in we will never know, and I seriously wonder if I can get up a petition or something and get my Brothers name changed to Anderson, I could say something like “Hey the P on your birth certificate is supposed to be an A so we have been calling you by the wrong name all these years”, probably not so I guess I’ll just leave that one alone, as of now the Paul part for Papa is still a mystery.
Last time I visited Papa he was sitting in his chair in a mobile home he rented, not saying anything much, he would take empty cigarette packs and crush them into a ball and toss them on the floor and laugh as his cat batted these empty packs around. Papa seemed to not have a care in the world, the day was passed watching him enjoy the antics of the cat with the cigarette pack, even though only throwing out a little conversation once in a while it was an enjoyable day that I cherish even now.
Do you have someone who you were close to and just thought that you knew their name, whether changed on purpose or a nickname that you thought was real? I think there is something to be proud of in the name you were given, but I still have to laugh a bit when I think about Junior Paul sitting there grinning to himself all nice and quiet when he was called by this name. Don’t worry so much about the actual name as long as you cherish the actual memories made with your very own Junior Paul.