Ricky, EllieFran, and The Blind Guy

Today is my father's very favorite holiday. Some people look forward to birthdays; others count down the days til Christmas. Not Ricky! He prefers Election Day.

Did I just call my father as Ricky? Yes I did. I'd like to divert for a second to clarify. No, he isn't my uncle/stepfather/adopted father. He is my biological father. And yes, as many of you know, I regularly refer to him as Ricky. Is he offended? I think he used to be. One day, 3rd grade Becky came home from school and decided to be obnoxious by calling her father by his first name. Not just his first name, the version of his first name people called him in elementary school. I don't recall my exact reasoning behind this. Perhaps I was curious how long it would last before he went completely insane with annoyance? Anyway, during this initial phase I'm thinking Ricky was most likely a little perturbed. But now? It's just the usual. I forget that it catches people off guard. In fact, the whole family has taken my lead. My sister, Carolyn, has even embellished Ricky's name so he now has a rapper alter ego: Pretty Ricky.  

I tend to change things up name-wise. When we got our brand new puppy, I suggested we name her Ellie. I immediately retracted my name suggestion because it was my tennis coach's name. Apparently I was concerned that my coach would be offended I had stolen her name for a dog. My family didn't care (no doubt my tennis coach wouldn't have cared either), and so our border collie pup became Ellie. A few weeks later, however, my sister and I decided to play a trick on Ricky. The plan: start calling the dog "Fran" and see if Ricky notices. The result: much confusion.
Ricky: "Didn't we name the dog Ellie?"  
Becky (or Beckles as Ricky tends to call me): "No. We named her Fran.  Remember?"  
Ricky: "...No?"

In the end, Ricky wasn't fooled. But once again, the name stuck! The whole family now refers to Ellie as EllieFran and occasionally just Fran. They are putty in my hands, I tell you! PUTTY! Haven't decided what my next name-change project will be, but I'll keep you posted.

Back to my original point.  I started this blog entry that somehow spun off into a succession of anecdotes for a reason.  Here was my initial thought process:

Election Day = Ricky
Ricky + Beckles + Election Day + 2000 = Blind Guy

Who is this blind guy I speak of? Allow me to re-introduce you.

Do these images look familiar? Perhaps bringing back memories of the Florida ballot disputes in 2000? I endearingly named this man "The Blind Guy." And, as proven through the Ricky and EllieFran stories, I only give nicknames to people/animals that I really love. The Blind Guy certainly fits that criteria. I was so enraptured by this man and his ridiculous facial expressions that Ricky gave me a framed 8x10 photo of my blind friend for Christmas that year. It sat on my hutch for years and years right next to my autographed picture of Shannon Miller. I'm sure I still have it somewhere.

So Blind Guy, this post is dedicated to you. Where ever you are, you still have a special place in my heart. And so do you, Ricky and EllieFran. Happy Election Day!