The other day, I mentioned that I had run into a glitch trying to explain to folks what else a person can do with lemons. Well, I can imagine that most of you came to a very easy conclusion about what you can do with lemons. And this post has come to you via pony express. As I mentioned, I am diabetic and don’t really like lemonade, anyway, but we can still have fun with lemons.

Here’s how …

Duroc, or Dorock

For whatever reason, I have always had nicknames. It started when I was a baby. My first one was Bruno. I understand from my mom and dad that they gave me that moniker shortly after I arrived in Cushing, Oklahoma. I have never known or understood where Bruno came from. As a child, I wasn’t known as Derek around the house; it was Rick. To this day, my sister calls me Rick.

Sometime around the time I entered college, the given name of Derek stuck … for a while.

In fact, my first byline when I was a reporter for the University Star at Southwest Texas State University was Derek Aldridge.

I have learned to answer to all names, whether friendly or blasphemous.

From there, the list has grown. I have had so many I  have forgotten many of them. Because I wore glasses through high school, my friend, Fred, called me Bottles. That one stuck among a few of my high school friends.

I have also answered to Radar, Mom, among others, and there are doozies of stories for each, but there is one nickname that has pretty much followed me around the country.


When I was a copy editor at the Columbus (Ga.) Enquirer shortly after graduate school, a friend there, David, began calling me Dorock. We played clay tennis together in the humidity of Carson McCullers‘ home town of Columbus, Ga. It was a really fun bunch working together at the Enquirer. On one occasion, reporters and editors decided we needed to get some green plants and raise them on our desks. We should have known the likelihood of this being a lasting event was slim to none because there were no windows in the newsroom. Someone decided we needed to name our plants after known or attempted assassins. I named my ivy after Squeaky Fromme, who tried to kill Gerald Ford.

Gavrilo Princip

Sitting across the newsroom from me was a very talented reporter, who happened to have been a Rhodes scholar. Of course, he named his plant Gavrilo Princip, the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which precipitated the start of World War I. Kinda figured for a Rhodes scholar.

For some reason that escapes me, Dorock has followed me from journalism to public relations to consulting. Many years after Dave planted that nickname on my shoulders, I learned that a duroc was a breed of pig. For a few moments, I wondered how much of a friend Dave really was. I believe his motives were pure.

Any way, so just recently when good friends Gary, Kathy and their daughter, Elizabeth, were touring the sites of Paris, they had a moment that reminded them of their friend here in Dallas. At one of the stops on the Paris Metro, there is a Duroc station. I am so proud.

I share this picture with you because I think that if someone gives you a nickname it is a symbol of affection. For example, I call my daughter, Casey, Lou-Baby. She knows that if I call her Casey, I mean business. Just about all the time it is Lou-Baby. JD and Patti have both been Red in their past. Can you guess what color hair they have?

While on our honeymoon, I gave Patti a copy of the book “How to Talk Southern.” As you can imagine, it was a book of humor, really making fun of Southern mannerisms and idioms. At that time, I became Hub and Patti became Waf. Again, more evidence of nicknames.

If you have a nickname, cherish it. Someone out there loves you.




This morning, Patti and I watched one of my favorite shows: Sunday Morning. It’s a CBS show that focuses on a myriad of topics. Sometimes, when an event is in the news, or of interest to most viewers, there will be a theme for the show. Today’s telecast, host Charles Osgood focused on Valentine’s Day. There were a few vignettes to illustrate Valentine’s Day and they were enjoyable.

One of the features that viewers see just about every week is an insightful focus into the current activities of actors, musicians, singers, authors and, in general, accomplished people of the arts. Thank goodness, the emphasis is on “accomplished” people of the arts — not celebrities who are celebrities for no reason, like the Kardashians.


Lust in 1965

Today, the arts piece focused on Herb Alpert. In the piece on the recording artist, the interviewer focused a lot on his past recordings, as well as bringing viewers up to date on what Alpert is doing now. Shortly after he tired of recording and touring, he and a partner founded A&M Music and he became a producer — a very wealthy producer who fostered talent like Cat Stevens and the Carpenters. Today, he lives in a beautiful home on Malibu beach with his wife, singer Lani Hall. This particular story talked a bit about his philanthropy and how he has founded many scholarships for talented musicians to extend their talent and begin their careers.


That’s great and the feature was very well done, as all Sunday Morning pieces tend to be. But …

When Herb Alpert comes to my mind, there is only one image — the cover of his first album, Whipped Cream. This album was released in April 1965. At the time of the release I was 14, soon to be 15 that summer. Even though my friends and I would share our Playboys with each other, at the time there was nothing like this album cover.  This album cover was the definition of lust in 1965. All my friends and I had this album … and, by the way, I guess we did listen to the music. Some of Alpert and the Tijuana Brass‘ hits from this album include “A Taste of Honey,” “Lemon Tree”, “Love Potion #9” and “Whipped Cream.” Ironically, people think of Alpert as Latin or Hispanic. His father was a Russian immigrant and his mother was a native New Yorker.

Here is some additional info about this album you may not know. The model covered in cream is Dolores Erickson and she was three months’ pregnant at the time of the photo shoot for the album. Also, Dolores was covered in shaving cream, not whipped cream, because the whipped cream kept melting under the studio lights. And, the musicians who backed Alpert for the album were not The Tijuana Brass, but the best West Coast studio musicians at the time, including Hal Blaine and Leon Russell. Yes, Leon Russell.

Over the years, due to the popularity of this album,various other artists made their own parodies of the album, including Weird Al Jankovic. The album spent eight weeks at #1 on Billboard and 141 weeks in the Top 40.

I hope you each have a wonderful Valentine’s Day tomorrow.