Dear Mr. Kuyper,
I usually agree with you, but this time I can say only “You’re not
from the South, are you?” Putting a tile before one’s first name is
a time-honored form of respect down here in Dixie. I am 71 years
old, and I called my teachers Mrs. Smith, Miss Nancy, Miss Mamie, Mr.
Rochelle, Miss Reasons, and Miss Myra. I still call older people
Miss Anne or Mr. Joe, and younger people call me Miss Becky. Among
the doctors I know are Dr. Lowe, Dr. Mark, Dr. Younger, Dr. Lisa, Dr.
Bill, Dr. Smith, Dr. Josh, Dr. Fitch, and Dr. Tom. The level of
respect is considered the same, regardless of the use of the first
name, and I use whatever form they desire. Remember Miss Scarlette
and Miss Daisy from the movies? When I lived in Yankee land a few
years back, children sometimes called me by my first name without the
“miss,” but only once I assure you.
I love your column, regardless of the fact that I disagree on this
Ok, ok, ok, Ya’ll got me there, Miss Becky… I did love Gone With The
Wind! And, there’s nothing better than some southern fried chicken and a big
bowl of jambalaya!
I am willing to back off my tough stand on kids not using first names when
addressing older people or people they need to show respect if, when you
send your grandkids to my basketball camp they call me “Coach Kuyper”.
Do we have a deal?
And thank you for being a fan of my articles and agreeing with most of them. I like hearing more than just my perspective… the foundational issue is really the motive behind the words, so it makes sense to take culture and geographical differences into consideration.
I do know that anywhere you go kids are kids, and using youth
sports to help develop their character and heart is so important. So, East
or West of the Mississippi River, my hope and desire is that we are influencing these kids for good.
If you ever have the chance to come to Phoenix, please stop by and we would
love to treat you to a great tasting taco and chimichanga!
Again, thank you….in Phoenix, Coach Kuyper, in the South… maybe Coach Tom