A few years ago we hosted several counselors who work with Kay in our home. After eating a delicious brunch, one of the younger couples with small children asked the “elders” around the table the names their grandchildren called them. A few shared their “grand” monikers before me, and when it was my turn, I had a story to tell.
I happened to be in a production of “All My Sons” for Nashville Rep when the call came that our youngest daughter in Chattanooga had gone into labor. Kay and I hopped in the car and drove down. We stayed long enough to hold the child, “oo” and “ah” over the perfection of this newborn, and head back.
I returned with cigars for all the members of the cast in the play. When one of the actors asked if I had thought of a grandfather name by which I would be called, I said, “I don’t know, but it sure as hell won’t be ‘Pee Paw.’” Polite laughter from the brunch guests.
The next “elder” at the table to reveal his grandfather name happened to be an esteemed clinical psychologist and chair of the psych department at a university. He was silent for a couple of seconds—the genius of comic timing building—and then he said, “Pee Paw.” Guffaws from the brunch guests, all at my expense.
The next time we paid a visit to see the new grandchild, I shared my story with our youngest daughter. She pushed back saying, “Well, Dad, what if your grandson decides to call you ‘Pee Paw’?” I too paused before I spoke; the comic timing from the clinical psychologist not lost on me. “Well, that’s all right, if you don’t mind me calling him ‘Little Brat.’”
End of discussion.
I solved the dilemma by creating the sobriquet of “Dachi” (pronounced “Da-chee”), “Da” for the Irish “Da”, and “Chi” for the first three letters of my nickname “Chip.” It has since morphed into derivations like: “Dachi-man,” “Dachi-mingo,” and my favorite, “The Dach.” The omnipotence of “The Dach” can strike fear and trembling in the hearts of men.