In those days, when everyone wasn't on the internet all the time, you'd come across people's names in a bunch of different places - sports rosters, news broadcasts, magazines, books, and more specifically, phone books.
And we never saw another Sucich - especially in the phone book, where so many other last names showed multiple entries.
But I'm discovering that Sucich isn't as rare as I once thought.
What I've found recently is that there are a few other people named John Sucich, besides my dad of course, that every so often I catch wind of.
There's a pilot named John Sucich in Michigan. There's a politically active Hawaiian named John Sucich - I think I received e-mails intended for him once.
There's also a bunch of obituaries for people named John Sucich that I've come across when I Google myself every once in a while.
I did that this weekend, just to see what came up. It brought up this nice article about my brother, which was a pleasant surprise. Sometimes there are links to the results of road races I ran more than a decade ago.
But I was reminded this weekend when I did it that I wanted to engage in a social experiment - because another place where I find a lot of 'Sucich' is Twitter.
And I've often thought about those other Suciches - do they wonder who we New York ones are as much as I wonder about them?
So I'm following them all - well, 7 of them, since I'm careful not to hit any that look like spam accounts - and we'll see what happens.
Maybe they're inactive and I won't follow them for long. Maybe they'll be great people that I become friends with. Maybe they're boring and I won't pay any attention after a day or two.
But we'll never know unless we give it a shot.
Update: Within 10 minutes of following the Suciches on Saturday, I heard from a Chelsea Sucich, who is in Tampa, and from Chicago. I had come across an article about yet another John Sucich who moved from Europe to Chicago in 1919 or so…I wonder if there's a connection there.