My cousin Odd Nichols is several years older than I. He was the last of 13 kids. I heard that my uncle took one look at him and said, “He’s odd, but he’ll do.” So his mom named him Odd. “Well, I thought that’s what you wanted,” she told my uncle.
Well, as you can imagine, he was teased to no end when he was in grade school. They always made fun of him in junior and senior high school. They laughed, giggled and snorted behind his back the rest of his life. He hated his name. For the most part he made everybody call him Mr. Nichols. Even his kids.
Many times over the years he told his wife Vissy, “Hunny. I just hate my name. When the time comes I want you get me a headstone that don’t have my name on it. Just leave my name off. I don’t care what else you put, just don’t put my name on it, you hear? Now, promise me.”
“I promise,” she always said.
He died last June and was buried in our Pancake Flats Garden of Rest. And cousin Vissy kept her promise. She just put the dates: 1928 – 2008.
Well, now wouldn’t you know it? People walk by his handsome headstone, take a look and say, “Hmm, that’s odd.”