Thursday, March 27, 2008

How My Father Got His Name

I just like this story.

So my dad grew up poor. They lived on a farm, his father was disabled and his mother supported the family as a home health nurse. Home health care nurses don't make much money now, so I can't imagine they made much money then.

So Grandma found herself working for a rich guy (the guy who invented roller shades, in fact), and her young son (my father) was about 12 years old. She thought...."Hmmm. This guy doesn't have many heirs, and he's rich and he's going to die." Always a schemer from what I hear, she thought, what better way to tap into the wealth than to name a son after the guy? But she wasn't going to have any more children, so it was going to have to be the son she already had. She changed my dad's name, legally, to this old guy's name. His first and middle name used to be Albert Guest. After that, he began going by Rich Guy's name.

When I heard this story, both I and his wife asked, "But wasn't that weird to suddenly have your name changed when you were already 12?" He answered, "Eh, I didn't care what they called me." My father doesn't have a lot of fancy notions about self-identity.

So my dad's name was legally changed, and when Rich Guy died, he left him $100.


Dr. Corndog said...

This sounds like something out of a Cohn brothers movie. And it also explains why you named your boys Larry and Sergey.

Anonymous said...

The best laid plans of men....or grandma's.


Lunasea said...

Yeah, but those restraining orders mean I can't be Larry's or Sergey's home health nurse. Maybe I should just move up north and go after Bill. Bill's a nice name.

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