From the miscellaneous drawer - The "L" name

by Anne Swenson

The last two sections of the Ely Echo are printed on Friday. Sometimes when leaving the office I'll grab a couple of assembled newspapers and drop them off at a friend's house in exchange for a cup of coffee. <BR><BR>Last week another friend was also there and looked through the grocery ads for Ely's two grocery stores. "Look, there's Velveeta on sale," she said. "I'll have to get some of that for grilling hamburgers. Do you use that too?"<BR><BR>"Nope," I said, "don't like the name." <BR><BR>"So what do you use," she continued.<BR><BR>"Cheddar cheese."<BR><BR>My other friend laughed.<BR><BR>She knew that names like Velveeta and Levitra give me the shivers. <BR><BR>It's all due to my imaginative parents. Not chastised often enough for naming their first born "Adela Iris" (after Adela Rogers St. John, the author), they gave me a name no one could pronounce or spell. No, not Anne.<BR><BR>All through childhood, my L----- name caused me trouble. The popular cigarette at the time had the slogan: "LS/MFT - Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco." Classmates had fun with that one, re-interpreting what LS meant to this Swenson.<BR><BR>The L----- name was given to honor my mother's best friend whose parents gave it to her, their only child, after seeing it on a western pass while honeymooning. She bore it without complaining to the best of my knowledge. Then again, her parents lived with her after she married so maybe she didn't have a chance to get away from it.<BR><BR>When I entered high school, I dropped my first name in favor of my middle name. <BR><BR>I rarely heard it thereafter until my mother moved in with us late in her life. <BR><BR>When I divorced my husband I changed my name back to my maiden name. <BR><BR>What I failed to do at that time when there would have been no extra cost (and have kicked myself ever since) was to make the switch to my middle name. Dumb.<BR><BR>I'll give you just one of the good reasons for abandoning the L name. In hospitals, before, during and after operations the nurses and doctors call you by the name on your chart. Since my L name is easy to mispronounce, there is a certain terror to have someone try to interrupt your drugged state by telling you they are going to be part of the operating team when you're not sure they have the right patient for the operation.<BR><BR>The recent knee operation was preceded by a letter to the doctor and his staff demanding that only Anne be used throughout the hospital stay. Fortunately they agreed or I'd still be limping around.<BR><BR>And by the way, if you know of my sister, she goes by the name Dee Baer. She had it legally changed by paying a few hundred bucks.<BR><BR>* * *<BR><BR>In the Ely Echo of 30 years ago, published on May 25, 1977, it was announced that Stanley Vejtasa was retiring as superintendent of ISD 696, Ely's school system. <BR><BR>Re-elected to their board seats on ISD 696 were Frank Krmpotich and Jorma Kangas. Chemistry teacher George Banovetz was also retiring after serving 38 years at Ely Memorial High School.<BR><BR>Ely's high school tennis team finished in third place at regionals.<BR><BR>After eight hours of deliberation in the Virginia court room, Roy Wahlberg was found guilty of murdering Jeff Goedderz<BR><BR>The Cleavettes band was playing at The Lamplighter bar on Sheridan Street.