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16 – NICKNAMES
The earliest nickname I can recall is “Johnny”. I believe this developed amongst my family members as a means to better differentiate between myself and my cousin John, who was about 6 months older than I and most likely was just an easy leap from the practice of using our middle initials as a means of getting our attention. He was/is John A. and I’m John E.
My next nickname memory came from the failed attempt by my best friend at the time to call me “Jack”. I think this was attempted around the time we were learning about President Kennedy and how John and Jack are interchangeable. Honestly, I wish this one had stuck, because I like the name Jack.
The one that did stick was applied by peers in Middle School; I’m sure there were countless pejorative nicknames, but those are stored in the dark recesses of my repressed memories of that time. My official nickname is “JT”. A brilliant combination of the initials of my first and last name. Many of my lifelong friends still refer to me as such and occasionally some stumble upon it like they’ve arrived at some brilliant discovery. I took much joy in the discovery that my youngest daughter has also been assigned this nickname by her softball teammates. The joy came from the sound of hearing “JT” chanted from the stands as she came to bat, or when she accomplished some great diamond deed.
17 – FAVORITE PIC OF MYSELF OF ALL TIME
I don’t like having my picture taken, so there are very few from which to select. The one to the right was taken in July 2008 after I had lost 100 lbs. Even I have to admit, I look good. Unfortunately, this is when my marriage was falling apart and I was spending 2-3 hours a day at the gym to avoid going home. That fall I began grad school and that level of dedication to the gym was unsustainable and the weight began creeping back. I would really like to look like that again, I know what to do to accomplish it, I just have to Git’er done!
18 – SOMETHING YOU’VE LEARNED