The Legend is Born

Way back when in the fall of 1989, a little pimply face kid (now on the brink of 40) with a smart mouth and a penchant for causing teachers to check with their 401k providers for early retirement packages was sitting in his English class cracking jokes and thought he had life by the balls.  The 7th grade English class of Clarksville Middle School was full of wannabe jokesters, gangsters (well a few of them turned out that way), and a pack of students known as “The Get Along Gang” gang.  This particular young man was part of the “cool” kids group even though he was about as cool as an August evening in south Florida.

This exuberant young man had just gotten himself a brand new shirt, not just any shirt either, the rocking uber 80s fashionista folks from Ocean Pacific had employed the finest in Singapore sweat shops to craft this one of a kind and life changing T-shirt.  It was inconspicuous enough, purple with a skull of a boat captain, even had the trendy little OP logo in the bottom right-hand corner.  Even though it would be years before this guy could rock purple like it was nobody’s business, he wore it enough that his peers figured out he had taken a shine to this particular shirt.

Miss Madison pulls purple off like a diva, me a dork!

One of the Get-A-Long gang leaders, a successful chemist in Texas now, who aptly had the nickname of “Colonel K” had a knack for calling everybody anything but the official name on their birth certificate and evidently was a huge fan of Gilligan’s Island reruns when he would get home from school and watch some old school TBS.  Colonel K and this future “Rebel Without a Cause” had a budding friendship, and one day after he wore his purple cotton prized shirt for the 89th consecutive day, the Colonel sprang into action!

That kid in question is me and that over worn Ocean Pacific T-shirt quickly spawned the name “Skipah” short for skipper.  The nickname of any boat captain.  The origin of Skipah was nothing more than a mass-produced T-shirt in late 1989.  Here’s the thing, it stuck.  Through middle school, through high school, college (we did room together, he graduated, I marinated), through marriage, hell through life!

About the only people that don’t call me Skipah on a regular basis are my ex-wife, Miss Madison, people that never met me by that name, and any former or future in-laws, #foreshadowing.  At first, when I got the moniker hung on me, I had no idea that 27 years later I would still go by the name.  The spelling of it has been janktified (add that to the lexicon Webster’s) over the years, but whether it be Skipah, Skippa, Skip, Skippy, You’re an asshole Gary (my ex-wife’s favorite spelling), or Skipper, the name has just clung to me like dog hair on your favorite pair of pants.

I would offer an image of the shirt that started it all, but even my greatest Jedi internet skills couldn’t find an image of the shirt.  My best friend even suggested when I started blogging to use Skipah in the title.  Back then I couldn’t put two thoughts together without running it by someone in my inner circle, but thanks to him, Colonel K, and various others since my blogging career began, the Skipah could very well live on forever in internet infamy!

Trying to boost Ocean Pacific sales with this post!

In other news, this weekend I discovered French Silk Pie!  Holy crap, where has this been all my life?  While at dinner the other night with Miss Madison and company, Miss Madison Jr. was perusing the dessert menu and we both agreed that the French Silk Pie looked mighty tasty.  Instead of paying $6.95 for a slice of it, I suggested we make one this past weekend for roughly the same price.  A quick internet check of recipes and my favorite food blogger of all time Ree Drummond had the perfect combination of ingredients listed on the Food Network website.

I fell in love with food all over again with this one!

Since I’m somewhat of a baking ninja (in my own head), all I had to buy for this delicious concoction was cream and some butter.  The rest I had in the pantry, although I had to get pretty creative for the shaved chocolate topping since all I had was semi-sweet chocolate chips.  The solution:  Melt chocolate chips, let them harden, then use a rotary grater (if you don’t have one, get one) with the cheese slicing attachment.  You get to look like some professional baker, and your secret ingredients are chocolate chips from Aldi’s and a rotary grater!

I can’t describe how good this is, I’ll let my waistline prove it to you!

About it for now, sorry the origin of Skipah was a letdown, but most things involving me are potentially that way.  To anyone that has never had French Silk Pie, I feel very sorry for you.  Now the countdown is on for Sloane to return next weekend!  The 50/50 days are over since school started, but don’t worry, loyal readers, I’ve got a plan for that as well!

BJ’s wholesale website -
Send Skipah Sailing!


  1. Your post made me crack up and it has been a long day. the A-hole comment was spot on.

  2. I’ve never had a nickname unless you consider B**ch but hey. I like to give other people nicknames, mmhmm. I remember OP I am from a beach town.

  3. Ha-ha! LOVE the nickname story! And I remember those shirts - purple was an excellent choice!

  4. I much prefer the way you pronounce Skipah to your ex-wife’s pronunciation.

  5. Great backstory! I always wondered where the name “Skipah” came from. Sigh, to be able to bake. Cooking is on my bucket list. For now, just trying to perfect, Ramen noodles. :p

  6. Oh I love the OP! I had a pair of orange shorts that were OP and I thought I was so cool!

  7. Skipah is a cool name. My husband earned the name “stix” and when I give out his email to our bills over the phone I have to spell it several times they think I am some kind of pervert trying to make them email “[email protected]” LOL

  8. This is HILARIOUS! Your writing is just spot-on….. i love the litany of names including (but not limited to) “You’re an asshole Gary” I have an ex (or two) I know the feeling LOL

  9. Well, “Skipah”, a decade before you sported your OP shirt, we San Diegans proudly wore OP t-shirts with our Levi cords and wallabee shoes. The ultimate in early 70s haute couture, unless you were a hippie, LOL! Fun reading as usual!

  10. I think as origin stories go, Skipah’s is a pretty good one. It’s certainly about a million times more interesting than Green Lantern’s.

  11. I feel sad for those teachers. But I can only point to those decades you lived without French Silk pie and say this: karma. 🙂

  12. I love how you got the name Skipah. Never knew. Thank for sharing and you are a pretty darn good baker based off the fact that you can create a great looking pie with a recipe.

  13. That’s funny! Ree Drummond lives just north of me a little! She’s opening a Mercantile Store and selling all that good stuff she writes about! Oh and happy National Rum Day from the Pirate!

  14. It’s cool to have a backstory to your nickname, hell, just having a nickname is pretty cool. I remember feeling cool with my OP attire. Now, not so much….

    I will admit your baking skills seem to be quite well, but you know I can’t support putting them to use with sweets. That aside, still looks pretty good man. Ever give making sourdough bread a try? I’d like to one day.

  15. Hahaha! All because of OP, lol!
    Interesting spelling your ex had! 😉
    My mother makes a chocolate silk pie, called Chocolate Dream Pie that’s out of this world. Oh yes. Mmm!
    I think you look good in purple. Trying to look as pretty as Miss Madison, well, that’s not a good goal for most of us, Skipah!

  16. That is actually a desert I love! The only other pie I tolerate is a pumpkin pie, but the desert you were speaking of, I can make myself sick by eating too much! And when I do (since it is a rarity) I feel no shame or remorse of anykind!

    At least now I know how your nickname came about. Thought it might actually have been something your parents( or grandparents) stuck on you. The truth is mich cooler!

  17. Hahaha! Ya know, OP is back, a bit. We got our boys new swim shirts this Summer, and they are most surprisingly OP. Break that shirt out again (if you still fit in it). 😀

  18. So now we all know!!! …. I just feel really old now as I left school in 1981 & was first married in 1988! 😜 I think it’s great to have a nickname - my old school mates call me Linny or Lindy; my mum calls me Lin - everybody else just calls me Linda 😊

  19. And if I recall, at the very very beginning in Mr. Gettelfinger’s class, it started as “Ghost Skipahhhhhh”! Then for awhile, it was “Skipahhhhh”!

Tell Skipah all about it!