“Hi, you can call me Ally or AL”

I don’t know about you, but I come across a lot of nicknames in my family. I still have living family members that I still don’t know their real names. I learned that my grandmother’s name was really Hala Rose and not Bay Rose. Then I learned that the ‘Bay’ is just country for ‘baby’. So, now I can look back at my aunts who’s names I thought were ‘Bay (insert name here)’ and know that it was really just ‘Baby’. Crazy…I know.

My dad was telling me about our family reunion and that our cousin Bummy was coming down with us in FL. Since I have been researching our family tree, I haven’t come across a Bummy. I asked my dad who is BUMMY! He explained to me who he was. He was the son of ‘such n such’. But, I had to ask again to get the real name.

When my great grandmother Bessie died on May 3, 1998, my uncle was the one to call me. I remember that day. I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter and got a phone call that went like this:

ME: Hello
HIM: Hey Baby Girl, this is your Uncle Jeffrey. Grandma Bessie passed away.
ME: What? Who is this?
HIM: Al it’s me Jeffrey.
ME: I don’t have an Uncle Jeffrey. WHO IS THIS?
HIM: *quieter voice* Al it’s your Uncle Kim.

I was 20 when this happened and at age 20 I had NO clue that my Uncle Kim’s first name was Jeffrey.


I remember the first time I met my grandmother. It was in 1985. The first family reunion that I remember. I had never seen this woman a day in my life. However, everyone told me that this was my grandmother. Me, being the tender age of 7 didn’t get the significance. I heard all my other cousins refer to her as Aunt Bay Rose. Everyone referred to her as that. I recall waiting for my brother to call her something so I could get the cue of what I should say. But, he was playing with our other cousins. Finally, the time came where I had to say something. We (my cousins and I) were going to another relative’s house down the street, cousin Pokie (real name Pocahontas Banks). She was an older woman but she sold candy out of her old scary lookin house. Well, I had to ask my grandmother for some money to buy some candy. I tugged on her shirt and said “Aunt Bay Rose, can I have some money please.” She politely said “Baby, you call me Grandma”. I remember feeling embarrassed after that!

2 Replies to ““Hi, you can call me Ally or AL””

  1. Hi Al, (may I call you Al?)LOL

    I recall, as a little boy, a time when my father was so taken by one of his nieces.

    My cousin Edith could get anything she wanted from Dad.

    Starving for attention, I resorted to calling him “Uncle Bill”!

    “Guided by the Ancestors”

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