What does one write in a blog?  For me the answer is serendipity moments in life.  Today, for example, a friend, Mary Wu, wrote about her name, challenging her blog readers to respond to a question about our nicknames.  Despite a list of things to do, I usually stop and reply to her thoughtful sharings.   Today I wrote back  . . .

To Mary: What an interesting challenge (“what’s in your name/nickname…?”) – for me I have a few nicknames, “Jimmy Mike” was an early name used when mom meant business.

Jimmy Mike, little sister, Sissy, and mom - 1947

Jimmy Mike, little sister, Sissy, and mom – 1947

Mimmy Mike” was used by my loving grandmother in growing up, she even still used that when I was a teenager and beyond.

Jim at year of graduation from St. Peter's High School (1960)

Jimmy at graduation from St. Peter’s High School (1960)

Just “Jimmy” by my friends – esp Ray & Joyce who have been in my life since 5th grade –  who still use that today, after 60+ years of friendship from growing up and through adulthood

Jim & Ray, friends for 65+ years with many more to come . . .

Jim & Ray, friends for 65+ years with many more to come . . .

 

 

 

 

As a high school math teacher, it was “Mr. Gleason” to my students.

"Mister Gleason" at the blackboard (1968)

“Mister Gleason” at the blackboard (1968)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For family and most friends today, it’s just plain “Jim

"Jim" is the most common today

“Jim” is the most common today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My full formal name: James Michael Gleason – taken from my father’s, James Michael, so I’m really a ‘Jr” a name that traces back to my grandfather on his side, “Michael James” – and then we named my son, to avoid the dreadful  “2nd” “Michael James.”

"My wonderful dad" and namesake, James Michael Gleason, Sr.

“My wonderful dad” and namesake, James Michael Gleason, Sr.

 

 

But most interesting is the surname, “Gleason” which means ‘son of a glass maker.’  My father was a ceramic engineer and did actually create, from natural elements, new types of glass, so I am indeed a “Glea-son”, the son of my father the glass maker!

 

 

I’ve always accepted my name and nick names proudly, especially once I found that meaning and connection to my dad’s occupation/name, “glass-maker”

“So what’s in your name?”

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