Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Jean Jean"



As I pack up our apartment in anticipation of our move next week, I'm coming across - and getting totally distracted by - lots of things. Fancy glass salad bowls that I'm pretty sure I haven't seen in seven years, my archaeology textbooks, my basketball card collection from elementary school and most importantly - old photo albums. And that's when I realized that I want you to meet my dad.

His name was Fred. He was born in 1943 in Kansas City, Mo, and he died about five years ago. He had a very interesting life. Among other things, he served as a morse code specialist in Thailand in the mid-60s (my brother and I loved to make him say our names in morse code when we were little - dah dit dit dah . . . ), he got a Ph.D. in elementary education and had a long career as a professor and reading specialist, he enjoyed photography, he played Chopin, he loved Kurt Vonnegut novels and old films, and he had a goofy sense of humor.

One of his names for me was Jean Jean, since my middle name is Jean. When he died, my sweet nickname was lost with him and I've been missing it (and him) terribly ever since. It is kind of always in my head, though, and it surfaced when I was thinking of names for my shop. I think it is perfect. It's a way for me to include my dad in a little way, every day, in this new part of my life. I think he would be pretty excited for me and my new adventure if he were still around.

10 comments:

annet said...

that's a beautiful story, sounds like your dad was a great person! i'm sure he'd be excited about what you are doing now!

labonnefemme1 said...

I am sure your Dad would be honored by your name~ Thanks for sharing

Vintage Seen said...

it's a great way to remember him and keep him with you far into the future. I lost my dad 3 years ago, sometimes it just feels like yesterday doesn't it? x

Sandy a la Mode said...

what a sweet picture and post about your dad! i love the name jean jean and i am sure he is honored you decided to name your shop that!

Jacqueline said...

I wondered about the etymology of the name...that's better than anything I could have imagined. It's so special and poignant...like the poem from "Rules of the Game" at the end of Z 1/2. (tear...)

Most beautiful post ever. Thanks so much for sharing, Duff.

KristiMcMurry said...

Thanks for sharing :) Your dad and I had a lot in common it seems! That's really sweet that you used his nickname for you as your shop name.

Wild Tea Party said...

Thanks for sharing Duff, I'm sure your dad would love your choice.

Mariana said...

I always meant to ask you where the name came from. Love the story! Great way to remember him.
:)

Liane said...

Thanks for sharing the story. I always wondered if there was a Jean Jean. I think it's really great that you incorporated his memory into the store.

Claire said...

Duff, thanks for sharing. I'm so happy to meet him (anew)

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