• Last modified 1700 days ago (Aug. 28, 2014)


Suddenly I have a famous nickname

A rather strange thing happened a couple of weeks ago when The Married Daughter and What’s His Name traveled off to the eastern most reaches of Kellogg St. in Wichita for a flea market event. They went to a convenience store in the area to purchase some gas, snack food, and water. About mid-way through their excursion my Facebook page blinked to life and there was a picture of a bottle of water with the word “Fred” across the front. The Married Daughter messaged that they were trying to find out where the product was made to see if I might be heir to a water conglomerate.

You see, my maiden name was Fred, just like George, Martin, or Samuel. I admit there were not too many of us. Yes, it is an unusual name and yes, it was a source of great hilarity for classmates and older brothers of various good friends during most of my youth. “Fred, Fred, wet the bed…” and other sing-song type rhymes followed me around the neighborhood, parks, and playgrounds. Luckily, I did not know this was a form of bullying. I was kind of a hefty kid and just beat the tar out of those other kids when I had enough. Fred, I am!

The only time the name calling really hurt my feelings was in junior high when I had a huge crush on Jerry Morel and he started calling me Fred Mertz, who was a male character in the “I Love Lucy” television series. He broke my heart! Worse than that, he was still calling me Mertz at the last class reunion I attended. I will probably beat the tar out of him when I go to my 50-year class reunion next summer.

However, I eventually turned it into a nickname and there still are high school and college friends who call me Freddie. The name was unique and I got kind of a kick out of it. I probably would have kept it forever if not for the fact that when I became a Marshall, The Mister already had an uncle named Freddie Marshall and we decided it would be a little awkward at family gatherings to have two Freddie Marshalls in attendance.

So the Fred and Freddie monikers went by the wayside. Most people around here don’t know about those episodes in my life and there is nothing wrong with that.

I am more than a bit curious about the Fred water product. The bottle is not cylindrical like any of the other water products on the shelf. Fred water comes in a clear 20-ounce container shaped like a liquor flask. It is distributed by Fred Beverages of Sausalito, California.

I am going to write the president of the company and see if we are related. I will see if, in his youth, anyone hollered “Fred, Fred, wet the bed.” Maybe we both paid our dues and now he is holding my money for me. Yeah, what are the chances? However, don’t you think it is odd that I needed a topic to fill this space and there was a 20-ounce bottle of water embossed with my family’s name? I believe it was just meant to be. Buy Fred water.


Last modified Aug. 28, 2014