I once asked a friend why the old timers called him
'Scout'. He told me that when he was young he had been sitting on
the beach, and he had looked into the sky to find a huge object. Nor
was he the only one to have noticed it. People gathered to point at
The object was not frightening. It could have
been very large and very far away. Or it could have been closer and
smaller. For certain it moved slowly against the wind, so it could
not have been a cloud.
Amongst those old timers who could recall that day,
there was dispute as to what the object actually was. 'Scout'
believed they had seen a Zeppelin. Others had different opinions.
Often an individual has one name in youth, another name
in middle age, and in old age some get to decide how they want to be
called. Scout, didn't like the name 'Scout', and he was indifferent
about the name 'Skipper', which was the name most people knew him by.
One day a party of visiting strangers called him
'Barman'. I could tell that this name irritated him, and I believed it
would pass. But 'Barman' refused to draw bottles of beer from the
icebox and directed the strangers to leave.
When I asked Scout why he had turned away what could
have been excellent business, Scout pointed to the small print on the sign
behind his bar. "Alwin Hughes, proprietor" it read.