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Andy & Donald

I suppose I'll have to address this sooner or later, and it might as well be now: my sister and I were brought up to call our parents by their first names. Not "Daddy" and "Mommy," but Donald and Lucy.

I realize that most people find this vaguely disrespectful or just plain weird. To me, it felt natural. It was much more personal to call them by their real names than to use generic role-model labels. I realize I'm not going to convince anybody who was brought up the other way, but that's how our family was: we used names, not labels. It didn't mean we loved each other any less.

Yes, that's me and Donald in 1950. He was already going bald at age 25, so when it happened to me in my thirties, it was no surprise. I was prepared for it, and didn't make a fool of myself by trying to hide it with combovers, "transplants," or pharmaceutical potions.

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