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Front Page » May 9, 2002 » Carbon Senior Scene » Hiawatha group still uses nicknames for each other
Published 4,511 days ago

Hiawatha group still uses nicknames for each other


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By ARCHIE McCARRIE
Hiawatha club member


Former Hiawatha natives Don Reaveley and Lou Colosimo (Bud and Kubo) visit during a recent meeting of the Hiawatha Club. The group gets together periodically to recognize each other for accomplishments and just to reminise about the old times when Hiwatha was a thriving community amongst the many coal camps in Carbon County.

Are nicknames really necessary? We probably could go through life without them. However some strutted with acceptance when their nickname was call by a member of their group while others pumped the color red into their face through bulging veins.

For some a nickname could be a term of endearment, for others it was the ultimate opportunities to practice being worthy of their suffering.

Well Kiabab-Sneak (Dan Miller) and Bud (Don Reaveley) decided to catalog the nicknames of all the macho-males who lived in their hometown of Hiawatha. Muggsy (Tommy Neilson) also thought is was a good idea of great significance. So they called a meeting and invited Spudnut (Mike Orphanakis), Petroff (Pete Petrulakis), Googie (Glen Davis), Spadikie (Mike Kolovich), Doe Killer (Norm Lowe) and Arch (Archi McCarrie) to a meeting and proceed to reminisce. A consultant, Scurg Frenchie (Arlen Clavelle), from California was even called in for consultation and meditation.

The august group concluded that some nicknames came about in order to distinguish between two Johns, or two Shirleys when more than one was in the same family or classroom.

The impressive group also postulated that most nicknames described the physical appearance of their bearer.

Another stipulation was the honored person had similar features to a cartoon character or celebrity. Cottontop (Ira Lowe), Ears (Jerry Allred), Buckwheat (Robert Wilde), or Muggsy are examples of nicknames fitting these two categories of nicknames.

But, the wise group advised the unfortunate bearer of an unwanted nickname to never voice strong displeasure to their nickname some not so well meaning associate had bestowed upon them, unless they were the biggest and meanest in the group.

The elders also concluded there was the practicality of some nicknames which shortened long names such as Beth for Elizabeth, Hank for Henry, or Bill for William.

Much pondering and consideration was given as to the origin of nicknames. Some nicknames just exist without explanation or association to physical features or similarity to a cartoon character or celebrity.

Nor could the esteemed group explain the origin of nicknames like: Boxcar (Tony Pappas), Couch (Glenn Davis, again), Hoopena (Burl Hoopes), and Kiabab.

"Screwdriver!" "Get real!" quipped Muggsy, "Have you ever met someone who looks like a screwdriver?"

However, he did go on to tell about a blind date he once had who when viewed from the side with her tongue sticking out of her mouth looked like a zipper or something like that.

The preponderance of unexplainable nicknames continued: Yborgo (George Pappas),Kubo (Lou Colosimo), and Touches (Wallace Baldwin), which is not even politically correct.

Scurg Frenchie looked at Bud and said, "Gentlemen, you will need to look no further. There is one among us today that can relate, as we do in California, to the nickname phenomena."

Bud, with the slightest smile on his lips, confessed he had willed the nickname handle on several of the homeboys. The wise, breathless and with mouths open, looked at Bud.

Now bearing a much larger smile, Bud's softly said, "Nick names are labels; labels are libels, and I just gave them the best libel I could".


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Carbon Senior Scene  
May 9, 2002
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