I've probably talked about nicknames previously, but I get reminded over and over just how much I love them. What I really like is when a person passes on...okay I don't really like that part, but I do like hearing this conversation "Did you know Bob Jones passed away?" "I don't know Bob Jones." "Sure you do....Tater Jones." "Oh, Tater Jones, why didn't you say that first. Bless their hearts." Yes, it is a sad time, but you smile a little when you read the obituaries listing taters, peanuts, mules, and various and asundry vegetables, animals, and cartoon characters that became beloved nicknames. I don't know about you, but I had an uncle who was determined to call everyone something other than their name. I was "punkin". My nephew was "peanut." That uncle recently passed away and didn't have a nickname listed in the newspaper. He had brothers who called him "britches" though. When you're a kid in the South, you will be called many loving names other than your own. You could be a bubba, but I went with buster for my nephew. My sister kept listing all the names she was considering as she got closer to giving birth. I told her that I didn't care what she named him, I was going to call him buAs he will tell you, he's not Western (what he calls talking with a southern accent). It has been reported to me that his dog calls him bubba. His dog is Western. It's not until you completely lose your real name that you have become the ultimate Southerner. I'm afraid that we will see this disappear over the years. I'm not ready to say good-bye to all the taters just yet.