Back when I was a kid, I longed to have a typical first name.
Something simple. Light and breezy.
After all, my buddies were all Bobby or Billy or Tommy or Johnny. All nicknames for the likes of Robert and William and Thomas and John.
But nobody ever called them by those proper names, except maybe the teachers on the first day of school each year.
Yet I was always Eric. Not Rick or Ricky (although my NASCAR name is Ricky Bob, from Eric Robert).
Of course, a new buddy or a girlfriend might try to shorten it, but it never stuck. The closest has been "EB." Or an occasional "Big E."
Oh sure, the name Eric went mainstream for a while there. Eric Clapton. Eric Idle. Eric the Red. Eric Lindros. Eric Bana. Eric Roberts.
I've always blamed my plight on my parents, not wanting common names for me or my sister Jennifer (although 20 years after the fact Jennifers were a dime a dozen in my daughter's class).
Eric at least supposedly means eternal ruler. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.
Wednesday afternoon Assistant Editor Jared Jernagan and I made our annual trek to the Exhibit Hall to take photos of all the 4-H Fair project winners. Jared always takes the photos, and I take down the names.
This year, those names were rather enlightening. We had many of the current favorites. And few old standbys.
Several Evans, along with Aiden and Adie.
Bree, Brinlee, Brilye, Bailey and Brooklyn.
Kelsey, Kensley, Kenzie, Kaylee and Kylie.
Haley, Haylee and Handley.
But not a single Eric. Not one.
No Bobby, Billy, Tommy or Johnny either.
Wouldn't have a Willie or a Sam.
So while Eric made a brief foray into the mainstream, it is apparently again passé. Eternal ruler, my eye.
Too bad, too. I was just getting ready to shorten "EB."
How's "E" sound?