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  • My dad sent me an email saying he liked my new nom-de-plume and “now aren’t you glad we didn’t name you Randolph?”
    That question requires some explanation.

    When I was a kid my best friends had names that had majesty. Names that commanded respect. Jeremiah and Randolph. And there I was stuck with a three letter name. Not even the fourth letter like most Johns or the longer Jonathan which would have at least put me into the competition. No, I was Jon. And when I complained to Mom and Dad I found out that they did it on purpose.

    Say it isn’t so!

    It seems that because my Dad’s given name was long and unusual, they were determined to keep mine short and hard to mangle. Now, some of my cousins would call me Jonny, but that was it. No one could make anything terrible out of it. So, there it was. Because my fathers step-mother, known to all as the wicked witch of the west coast, had delighted in shortening his name to “Addie” (think fingernails on a chalk board), I was stuck with Jon.

    It wasn’t fair! My chances of being taken seriously among men was greatly diminished. I mean would there even be a “Hounds of the Baskervilles” if Sherlock had been Jon? Watson would never have deferred to a Jon Holmes.
    And Hercule Poirot? Jon Poirot, the profound Belgian detective? I think not.
    And would Randolph Scott (hats over heart, please) have been as tall in the saddle as Jon Scott? Never.
    The Scarlet Pimpernel? The list reads like a who’s who, which was my point.

    It all fell on deaf ears.

    They loved my name and were a little hurt that I didn’t appreciate all the hard work that went in to finding just the right name.

    It took me years to really like my name. I went by nicknames of Dirty Jon and Smilin’ Jack and I still tell people that there is no “H” in my name because my Mom figured there was already enough “H” in me. See, It’s a good smart ass name for a real smart ass.

    So, yes Dad, I’m glad you didn’t name me Randolph….but I probably could have gotten more mileage out of “Sue”

    Photo is a recent skype my brother took of Dad during martini time.
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