Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop. That name. Just rolls off the tongue. Marketing genius! No wonder so many people have called themselves “Uncle Ike” over the years – it sounds cool. The name “Ike” got a dude elected President, after all. We liked him.
So here’s a quick sampler of other people named Uncle Ike. There are millions of “Ikes” and thousands of “Uncle Ikes” out there, so I could only touch on a few.
Peck’s Uncle Ike and the Redheaded Boy by George W. Peck is about a kid spending the Summer with his bachelor Uncle. They engage in the disturbingly racist talk that was so common back then, so I stopped reading.
In the book Uncle Ike by John Farrar, Ike is the town justice of Jayville Pennsylvania. He’s a crude character who says “ain’t” a lot and hunts for squirrels when he’s not dishing out spankings to his nephews. This has a rustic, Little House on the Prairie vibe.
The Lewiston Evening Teller prints a letter which warns a so-called Uncle Ike to not return to town. “Here is one that is not afraid of his gun,” says the author.
The Meade County (Kansas) News has an article about a slave named Uncle Ike who became a preacher, one of numerous references to slaves named Uncle Ike in the historical record.
The Washington Times points out that Wisconsin multimillionaire Uncle Ike Stephenson is the oldest member of the Senate, at 82. Other articles from the same period mock him for complaining about hotel bills.
The March 19 edition of the Evening World has a story too incredible to be believed. “49 SPOOKS HIKE AFTER UNCLE IKE IN SPIRIT LAND. Gay old ghost arrives from Europe with his shady troupe and does stunts. HE’S A JOLLY OLD SOUL. But he’s a knocker, for all that–He can rap harder than subway crash victim!” Now THAT is a headline. The story begins … “Uncle Ike was rapping to the beat.” A “rapper” named Uncle Ike in 1912? Wow! But no. It turns out “Uncle Ike” is the name of a ghost created by Upstate New York “rapping medium” Miss Floy Cottrell.
Ooops, we just skipped ahead a century or so. Time to just end this, but not before giving a shout-out to Uncle Ike’s Music & Sound, a music store that has been serving Dubuque, Iowa since 1986.