In the years that I was growing up Dick was very popular. There were lots of Dicks. I went to school with three or four Dicks.
Every Sunday Dad would get the newspaper and I'd make a beeline for the funnies so I could read the exploits of that great crime fighter, Dick Tracy, who fought unusual villans in 3 colors.
In elementary school when we learned to read we read about Dick. We also read about Jane and Sally and their little kitty Puff. I forget the dogs name. Oh yeah Spot. Dick had a great life and I was envious.
There were plenty of Dicks was on TV and in the movies. . There was Dick Powell and Dick Patten.
There was Dick Van Dyke with his pretty bubble haired TV wife. Dick Van Dyke was extremely popular.
Dick York and Dick Sargent shared the same TV wife.. Dick Shawn was at one time a well known actor. Dickie Moore was in the Little Rascals. Dick Beals was a voice over talent and his voice was well known as Speedy Alka-seltzer and Gumby.
Dick Gregory was once a fat, Black comedian before he slimmed down and became a slender African American activist. But Dick Gregory is still a Dick.
Herman Melville was required reading as we moved on through school. We all read Moby Dick.
Shakespeare wrote two plays about Dick.
Dick Hyman is a wonderful singer and pianist. He’s also somewhat of a paradox if you put some thought to it.
Every Saturday afternoon we would turn on Dick Clark to check out Bandstand. Are you getting the picture by now?.
Dicks were everywhere and Dick was popular. Women liked Dick. Men liked Dick. Everyone liked Dick.
There was even a shoe repair guy in my town named Dick Weiner. You have to have large hangy-down things to live with a nomicker like that.
Did you know that Michael Savage, the loudmouth radio guy’s given name is Michael Weiner. He calls his show The Savage Nation.
I wonder how many people would listen to a radio show called The Weiner Nation? But I digress
I’m not sure what caused the dislike of Dick, but I have my opinion.
Now I know what you are thinking this rejection of Dick in today’s culture is because for years Dick had another connotation and I know that you are aware of where I am going with this.
In bygone days, detectives were nicknamed Dicks. I love old movies. In some of my favorites, Humphrey Bogart played Phillip Marlowe. Whenever Marlowe was asked his occupation he would answer unabashedly, “I’m a private Dick.” Law abiding folks liked Dicks and criminals didn’t like having Dicks poking in their affairs.
And of course Dick also had another meaning. Railroads were at one time the most popular and economical means of transportation by paying customers and non-paying customers. The non-payers were called Hobos or freeloaders. They were actually bums. The railroad personal hired to make certain that the boxcars were hobo-free were known by said hobos as Railroad Dicks. There were certain elements of society that just didn’t like Dick. I for one do not care what a bum thinks.
But here is my theory. Dick grew increasingly minor in our society, that is insignificant because of the 37th President of the United States, Dick Nixon a.k.a. Tricky Dicky. Think about it. Nobody wanted to be a Dick anymore after Dick Nixon. All the Dicks are now Richards, Rich’s or Richies. There are few Dicks left.
One of my favorite guitar players is Dick Dale. Dick Dale is a proud Dick. He calls his fans, Dick-heads. I like Dick Dale.
I have a relative named Dick. His mother calls him Dick. His big sister calls him Dick. His wife calls him Rich. She can't bring herself to the fact that she married a Dick. He calls himself Richard. Richard's a great guy. But I say if you are a Dick than stick up for yourself and be a Dick.