Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name; a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But it wouldn’t be a rose. Names cause me moments of musing and moments that are jocose (humorous). Names are better than “Hey You” or “You There” or “Hello There.”
“Buck Owens” was a very popular country music star for many years. Why was he named Buck? Was he named after a deer or sheep? Was he bucked off in the rodeo? Why not Quarter or Dime or Half-Dollar? Today there is a rap star named 50 Cent.
Back in my callow youth, it was popular in Hollywood to have unusual names I suppose to attract the attention of the ticket buying folks. It still is. “Rock Hudson” was very popular and his name suggests strength, vitality and size. Then there was “Rip Torn.” Whoever came up with that must have eaten a pound of bad bologna the night before: “Yeah, let’s call him ‘Rip Torn.’ That will get attention especially on the marquee.” “Red Buttons” was also a star in yesteryear. I often thought why not “Blue Zipper,” “Stick Pin,” “Safety Pin” or “Fuchsia Buttons.” Today, his namesake would be “Vell Cro.”
Other names from the past include “Bing Crosby.” What does Bing mean? “Chill Wills” was a revered character actor. He made the word “chill” popular because he chilled out every day. “Kevin Bacon” is quite popular in film and theater. Why not “Kevin Sausage?” “Kevin Ham” or “Chop?” “Gregory Peck” could have been “Gregory Bushel” or “Quart” or “Sack.”
I remember “Tuesday Weld.” She must have been a welder on Tuesday so what did she do the rest of the week?
“Sage Steele” is a bright young Hoosier from Carmel who is prominent in the field of sports casting. Does that mean she is flavorful? Smart? Maybe she is strong and can bend your belt buckle with one hand tied behind her back. She says that if it weren’t for IU she wouldn’t be where she is.
BW and I enjoy many activities in our church with a group named Golden Glows (euphemism for Old People). We meet monthly, enjoy pitch in meals, parties, programs and we travel together. When we travel we wear name tags because it identifies us and keeps us together. People will also know who to contact if some in the group might wander off and get lost in the Metamucil aisle in CVS or the sample row at Sam’s Club.
One of our leaders also wears a name tag and upon close inspection I noticed there is a name on it; “Trip Planner.” Now there is a creative name straight out of Hollywood circa 1955. I conclude that if he is the trip planner he should not be on the trip. He planned the trip and now he must step aside in favor of “Trip Guide,” or “Trip leader.” The planning is finished now it is time to engage the “Trip Goer-With-er Guy.”
Larry Vandeventer. Go to my two websites– Larryvandeventer.com and wjrambler1956.com– and purchase my books. I grew up North of Calvertville and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State. Contact me at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.