|At Cocoa Beach FL, photo by Michael Pelzer|
Growing up I was simply Michael or Mike, my mother being the one person who always called me Michael.
|As CHS student|
After I started teaching at Chapleau High School, I became "Mr Morris" and had great difficulty adapting to it. I still recall telling Robert Fife one day that my name was Michael not Mr but not much I could do about it. The principal of the day J.B. Walsh would come into the staff room and sternly say, "Mr. Morris, my office now!" Just a shade of difference between Mr Wade and Mr Walsh.
|As young reporter|
I stormed out of the dressing room having made my point, lit a cigarette, and listened through the door to the players talk it over. They really did not think Mr sounded right, but what to call me so that I wouldn't lose it again.
Lionel Corston, my next door neighbour and First Nations person spoke up and said, "Let's call him Chief. He's the chief and we are the Indians." Immediately they all agreed. (I use the word Indians totally in the context of the dressing room conversation.)
The dressing room door opened and led by team captain Jamie Doyle, who had hired me, they marched past, each one saying, "Hi Chief" with the mischievous smiles that only kids can display when they have won a round. What could I do? The name stuck, at first just used by hockey players, then much more widely, and when someone wanted to really make a point it became "The Chief said..."
Of course for the most part I was Mr Morris at school.
Like all teachers I also became "Sir" as in "Sir said.." and later I had an increasing number call me "MJ" and still do.
|1978 at opening of Chapleau Civic Centre|
While living in Chapleau I became the reeve (mayor) of Chapleau, and I was called Reeve Morris, Mr Reeve and at times "Your Worship" --- an honorific I actually hated and still do when I hear it in reference to the head of a municipality.
But not all names I have had were terms of endearment. Here is one example as told to me by Gilbert Landry, who was the head custodian at CHS for many years and my good friend.
One night Gilbert was at a social gathering when the conversation turned to the Canadian economy which was in a downturn in the early Seventies. Gilbert reported that one person commented: "I know what's wrong with the economy. It's all the fault of that son of a bitch Morris and Trudeau." Pierre Trudeau was prime minister of Canada at the time.
I know that in my time I've been called an SOB and worse whether it has been because of my involvement in hockey or politics or whatever. But that's OK.
At College of the Rockies it was mostly Michael. On Facebook, it seems that I'm getting Michael, Mike, MJ, and Chief most of the time. The odd Sir or Mr Morris.
|In my office at College of the Rockies|
In the past ten years I have a new one. My best friend calls me "Bud" as in "what's up today Bud?" when he contacts me on messenger or phone.
Please comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.