The year of Chuck.

Once there were no Chucks. Except for my grandfather, the first Charles Louis Kallenbach, and then me.

I went to school with a guy named Chuck, same age, lots of the same classes. We would alternate going by Chuck or Chuckie. Or Carlos and Carlitos in Spanish class. Hard to believe. Some of my aunts, if I saw them today, would still call me Chuckie. But I wish they wouldn’t.

One of my teachers called me Charles. I didn’t like it. I had one teacher that called me Charlie. The only person in my whole life that ever called me Charlie. I didn’t like that either.

I wrote my name eighteen different ways and decided that I liked Chuck Kallenbach II the best. Nowadays, I leave off the II for fear of seeming pretentious. Hah! My official banking name is Charles L. Kallenbach II, however.

Chuck Connors was the star of an old western called The Rifleman from 1963. (Yes, I owned a toy plastic rifle with the trademark oversized handguard.)

Then there was Chuck Norris, a movie star in The Green Berets and Way of the Dragon before Walker Texas Ranger and all the stupid jokes.

Of course, Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars sneakers were often called “Chucks,” since way back in 1969.

After that there was Chuck and Bob on Soap in 1977. Not too proud of that one, that guy was a complete idiot.

Now, there are Chucks everywhere. Chuck Bartowski in NBC’s Chuck. Charlotte “Chuck” Charles on Pushing Daisies. (A friend of mine had a girlfriend she called “Charlie” whose name was also Charlotte. I named my hamster for her.) Chuck Darling on Back to You, that Kelsey Grammer comedy that’s going to break his string of hits.

As my mother would have said, “Every dog has his day.” Even if his name is Chuck.

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One Response to The year of Chuck.

  1. Jason says:

    If I’m remembering correctly, you were born in the 1950s.

    Rank of “Chuck” among boys’ names in the 1950s: #358

    Rank of “Charles” among boys’ names in the 1950s: #10

    This is a great site.

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