Friday, November 13, 2009
What if your name wasn't your name?
With the passing of my last grandparent recently I've had grandparents on my mind a lot. This man here was my mother's father, Louie Glen. Grandpa was a farmer in Oregon and my mother was raised on that farm. We all spent a lot of time there and one thing we learned is that there is nothing like a potato soup when the potatoes and everything else is fresh picked. Yum. We also learned to look at the back of the lettuce leaf and not just the front when checking for slugs. I think my little sister may still have a little slug stuck in her teeth...
When Grandpa was born his own grandfather had wanted him to be named George Washington since he already had a family tree named after this countries fore fathers (Thomas Jefferson, etc) and also because this baby was born on Independence Day. His mother, however, said no. This baby was to be named Louie Glen and, after what is suspected to have been some argument, he gave in and let it be. Or so she thought.
When my grandpa was getting along in age it occurred to him that he should get a social security card. His mother was still alive and doing so while she was still here would make it a little easier. The paperwork was filled out and sent off but instead of a social security number he received a letter. It said that a baby boy had been born to the people he said are his parents on the day he said he was born. BUT his name was NOT Louie Glen. Upon further investigation he discovered that his grandfather had filled out his birth certificate more than 60 years ago and named him George Washington. All of these years he had been going by this name, raised his children (and given one the middle name of Glen) and run his business and had never known that his name wasn't really his name. Now, because of the business, he had his name legally changed to Louie Glen. My middle child is named for him and my uncle (who passed shortly before Glenn was born) and I think it a little funny that he was named for someone who wasn't really named that for most of his life.
What would you do if you discovered your name wasn't really your name? Would you change it to what you thought it was? Leave it? If you have to change it anyway would you pick something new?