Thursday, July 17, 2003

Drop that Ethelbert blog.

Got an e-mail from Julia Roberts this morning. She works for the Homebuilders Association of Greater Chicago, and I'll bet she's sorely miffed at times that an overrated movie star shanghaied her name some years ago, though I've never discussed the matter with her. I'm fairly certain that will never happen to me. Let's just say the odds are pretty slim.

Then again, my brother Jay informed me recently of an obituary of a someone named Dees Stribling Daniels, who lived in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Born in 1930 or so, Daniels was apparently named after my uncle Ethelbert Dees Stribling (my father's brother) about 30 years before I was, but since we don't know of any relations with that last name, we're not sure why.

Uncle Dees, whom I don't really remember (he died in the late 1960s), did not use that first name of his. Didn't care to go to that extent to honor the various Saxon kings of that name, and I can sympathize. But he was elected Neshoba County Attorney in 1927 and Mayor of Philadelphia in 1934. Perhaps he did some really important legal work for the Daniels family.

From the Clarion-Ledger ("Mississippi's News Source"), June 30: "Dees Stribling Daniels, 73, a retired hospital worker, died Saturday, June 28, 2003, at home. Visitation is 5-9 p.m. today at McClain-Hays Funeral Home in Philadelphia. Services are 10 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home with burial in North Bend Methodist Cemetery in Neshoba County."

I have no idea what kind of life D.S. Daniels lived, or what kind of person he was, or even if he was a he. But if he was male, and he used his first name, I'm fairly certain he had his name misspelled often; was asked "Is that your real name?" often; was also asked "Is that short for something?" often; had to spell it on the phone as a matter of course; always knew when a speaker reading a list of names had come to him, because the speaker would pause to puzzle it out; and would receive mail addressed to "Miss, Mrs. or Ms." Stribling.

It's a fine name. I hope I get to use it at least as long as he did.


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