"And this is good old Boston,
The home of the beans and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots,
And the Cabots talk only to God."
-Harvard University Toast
I work for an Airline and if lucky, get to fly at low cost if there is an empty seat. So last October, Donna and I wanted to go visit with my sister and some falling leaves in Southern New Hampshire so we sauntered to Terminal C at Raleigh Durham Airport one morning and awaited flight. During the relaxing afterglow of the TSA inspection station, we ran into Stephanie and Adam Parken with their delightful one year old child, Everett. We know them through our friend, Kristen Symank (See Get Shorty-2009 post). When God wants to introduce a gentle smile in your life, He introduces you to Kristen or someone just like her...so Adam and Steph come highly recommended.
Steph was going to Texas to visit family and Adam got a gate pass to assist in transport; his help was needed since Steph was pregnant with another child. As I watched them with Everett I could see that if parenting skills were measured against athletic grace then Steph and Adam would reside on the ark of a Ted Williams' swing of the bat. The Parkens were natural at it and the world will only get better with a new addition under their tutelage.
We bid adieu and went to our different gates. They left, we didn't. At takeoff Donna and I were on the wrong side of the jet bridge door for the 7:15am through JFK, the 9am through Washington and the 10:25 through Chicago. I opened the new Michael Connelly mystery, then closed it and had an epiphany! I could help Adam and Steph give their new child a name! The fact that I don't know them well shouldn't be an impediment...I'm sure they will be thrilled. They can now devote all their time and effort toward little Everett and their new baby!
Given thought, most names have become too mundane, too, well, known. I always thought it would be interesting to name a child after a "thing" instead of a person. It opens up a lot of lanes. Architectural?: Chrysler(building), Empire (State Building), or Golden (Gate)...or perhaps a natural resource: Grand (Canyon), Lake (Michigan), or Missouri (Breaks). No? Not highfalutin enough? How about naming her after an S&P corporation? Proctor, Gamble, Microsoft, or Kubota (tractor)? No?
I liked the idea of a multi-national corporation though, but let's get classy. Name her after a European bourses listing: Peugeot?...ugly car design...Rio for Rio Tinto?...yes, I like that except they are currently immersed in a scandal. Too bad, Rio would be nice and also hit several name categories to boot.
What to do. Then it hit me. How about Everette? Since they had an Everett (boy), and probably getting a girl, Everette...they would be a matching pair. Think of the money they could save in initialed clothing. Aren't I good! Everette it is!
No, No, No. It is a horrible idea! Everette - would inevitably be mispronounced as "Eva-ret" which sounds like an experimental drug in its third week of FDA trials. Besides, what if Steph, Adam, or both develop speech impediments in later life. Couldn't you just hear Steph yell to the kids from the kitchen, "Ava-ret don't forget to wear the pink shoes with the blue dress." Too much money from Everett's 529 college fund would have to be diverted for therapy.
Then it hit me! From now on all children should have two names; one "written" and one "spoken". Look at the name, Everette. Doesn't it look grand on the page - almost poetic? Look how the letters live well together in print. I just can't give it up. Everette conjures up a romantic notion not observed since Evangeline, the epic tone poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that chronicled the forced move of Canadians to Louisiana during the French and Indian Wars in the early 1700s. Perhaps some erstwhile Longfellow years from now will write about Everette, a tale involving celestial truth and maybe some intergalactic space zombies. You never know.
So they can name the new baby whatever spoken name they like (anything from Sara to Snappy works for me), but I hope they take Everette as the written name under serious advisement.
Donna and I never made it to Boston. No empty seats. I guess the Lowells and Cabots were having a family reunion.
I wonder what their first names were?