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If you grew up in my household, you knew of Dickie Purdie.
Richard A.K.A Dickie Purdie lived on the same street as my father and uncle when they were growing up. I have heard contradictory tales about who was Dickie Purdie. He was either an ideal, a ‘good boy’, or he was ‘slow’. Either way he was used as a role model/example to get my father and uncle to shape up. When my grandfather asked his boys to do something, and they dawdled, he would say “Oh never mind, I’ll get Dickie Purdie to do it’. If the chore was only half done, the critique was ‘Goodness, Dickie Purdie could do better than this!”.
Like most father-to-son rubs, this one was past down from generation to generation. Growing up we too heard about “I’ll get Dickie Purdie” to do things. My male cousins got the same thing from my uncle. Our Saturday mornings started with father calling to get up, there is work to be done, Dickie Purdie is already doing his part of the lawn etc. I did not know who Dickie Purdie was but I wanted to throttle the twerp.
Nowadays the name is a source of humor in the family. For a generic “Joe Q. Smith” we use ‘Dickie Purdie’. I sometime use the name in restaurants “Dickie Purdie, your table is ready!” Calls from cousins start with ‘is Dickie Purdie at home?”. I wonder if my brothers thrusts him onto the nephews. (later edit: the sure do!)
I would like to meet this infamous could-do-no-wrong-always-did-what-his-father-asked him to do- weasel person. He must now be over 70 years old, but if I were to meet him I would first find out who he really was, prior to punching out his lights. Did you have a ‘Dickie Purdie” ?