Why am I called "Maps"?

Well, it deals with the fact that I have been interested in, and have been collecting, maps,especially road maps, since I was about five years old, as my family took me on vacations from almost right after I was born, and I was interested in where I was. After not too long, I realized that I had a collection. The major reason why the nickname is significant, though, is because I have many more maps than the average human being would need in his/her entire lifetime. There is a specific story that goes with the creation of the nickname "Maps."

This is how it goes. When I was an Undergraduate in the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music here at Kent State University, the top Jazz Ensemble (which I was in -- 2nd Tenor Saxophone)was invited to play at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival, in Elmhurst, Illinois (right outside Chicago),on the evening of Saturday, February 29, 1992 (the band since has also attended in 1996, 1997, and 1998). The band's regular rehearsal time is Monday-Wednesday-Friday 5:30-7:00 pm, so there was a rehearsal the evening before our performance day. The band's director, Mr. Chas Baker (the director of all jazz-oriented studies at Kent State) also called a rehearsal for the morning of the gig just prior to the departure time of the caravan. This created a problem for our Bass Trombone player at the time, the legendary (around the School of Music, anyway) Gene Steele, as he commuted 30 miles one way to school. Why go 30 miles home when he needed to come right back the next day to keep his vehicle there during the trip? So, since that semester Ihad no roommate in a two-person room in Verder Hall residence hall (picture), I told him that he could use the unoccupied bunk that night. When the evening came and he went to my room, he wasconfronted by a room full of maps. As I had no roommate at the time, and since I was busy withschool, my map collection had been losing its organization gradually over the semester.Apparently, Gene had never seen so many maps in one place at one time, as he couldn't stopmentioning that that was a lot of maps. All night. The next morning, when we went to thedress rehearsal, before it started, Gene went up to Chas and said, "You'll never guess where I stayed last night!" Chas looked at him only as one would look at Gene (you'd have to knowGene -- he's about as silly as I am!), and said, "Where did you stay last night, Gene?", towhich Gene, still in a stupor about the maps, replied, "I'll give you a hint: Maps!" We then explained what had happened. After the rehearsal, when we were deciding who was going with who in the caravan, Chas, who wasn't exactly sure how to get to or around where we were going, looked at me and said, "You ride up in the front with me, Maps. You'll be the navigator."

And thus, the nickname "Maps" was born.

Kind of a dumb, inconsequential, possibly boring story. But when people hear my nickname for the first time, they undoubtedly ask, "Why do they call you 'Maps'?" That's why.

Revised April 21, 1998/Minor revisions August 31, 1998; July 29, 2000; September 30, 2000; and April 18, 2001 (as part of the roadfan.com transfer)

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