What’s in a name…eh?

You may have a cool name, like Boris Worm or a fun name like Phil McCracken or Sandy Beaches. I find the name reflects the owner in most cases, but in some cases a name and others with the same name, exude no doubt that any power that name has, it has to be in the name itself. A couple of examples:

Take my name; Steve or Stephen. Now that being my name, when I hear it, wherever randomly, I just somehow hear it. But on television or movies that runs the gamut.

Steve Earkle; Steve Sanders; Col Steve Austin; Steve Harvey; “What does the box say?” “It says, ‘Shut up Steve.'” In movies there’s really only one Steve and that’s McQueen no wait I mean Spielberg no wait Buscemi. Or Hawking or just King without the Haw? Or Jobs or Tyler; Perry and Allen.

That’s funny, Tyler Perry is a real person but we’re talking Steve’s. So I’m with some pretty good company, you probably are as well. Maybe not you Sirpa Green*.

Another example: Back to the Future III

After Marty arrived in the old West he found himself in a Saloon with Biff’s Great Ancestor Mad Dog. Mad Dog is the size of a wall to Marty and asks “What’s yer name?” to this Marty replied- trying to look all tough- “Eastwood, Clint Eastwood.” Mad Dog and his crew all laugh. To anyone not knowing Clint Eastwood, wouldn’t feel intimidated by the name. 

So some names are common and versatile and some more proper names instill fear; think Dr. or Snake.

And some may represent a Country: Clark Kent U.S.A.; Paul Hogan/Keith Urban AUS; Bono IRE. Diana GTB.

Canada has a name. It’s Gordon. Canada has plenty of Gordon’s.

Pinsent; Lightfoot; Howe; Sinclair; Martineau of course Downie and personal favorite, Elkin.

Pinsent; actor, director, writer.

Lightfoot & Downie; two musicians able to capture the feel and meaning of being Canadian, wonderfully historical songs, complete with shipwrecks or dead hockey players and hornets! Mr. Downie however is having the fight of his life battling brain cancer (which has affected my family recently).

Howe; Hockey Great, AKA Mr. Elbows  gordie howe

Sinclair; Journalist, writer, commentator. gordon sinclair

Martineau; City TV everywhere. gord martineau

Gordon Lightfoot: musician/singer/songwriter. AKA four cord Gord

Gord Downie: musician/songwriter/singer/author.

gordon lightfoot gord downie

This last Gordon is an Uncle passed.  To any reader of My Stories in Paragraph’s knows my Dad, Ron and his brother, my Uncle John were both born in India. Well my Dads Mom; Nana to me, had a brother Owen that married Dolly and then they had Gordon. All in India as well. So Gordon is  really a cousin to me, but because of the age difference we just called him uncle. Gordon as like my Dad and John and Joyce, (I’ll discuss at a later date) were all sent to school in Nanital, India (located at the base of the Himalayan Mts.) Sherwood was the name of the school. Boys & Girls separate dorms.

gordon anne wedding

Gordon & Ann wedding day

I remember my Uncle as a wonderful, entertaining natural character with a dashing pencil thin moustache not unlike Don Ameche’s. A little about Gordon; From India to England to Canada by 1957. Worked Insurance and enjoyed performing. A member of The Civic Light Opera Company & Amicus Productions.

Uncle Gordon could speak – very comfortably – in front of anyone. And usually did. At a birthday or anniversary of someone’s he may whip out a piece of paper and very dramatically with a hint of real British accent begin reciting his minuet to the guests.

I can clearly see but not remember the words or contexts, but Gordon standing up in front of everybody, he would have the floor. His wit with the English language knew no bounds. He could find a rhyme for Calcutta or Baboo, even inconsequential.

I have Gordon in my own personality too. Things I know I can do because I’ve seen him do them for years. I draw from my memory of him. I myself have written/read clusters of Limericks to tell a story for an unsuspecting someone or just spoken in front of a crowd. A crowd is 5 or more people right?

The following Christmas season after Gordon had passed, Deb and I were doing decorations. She handed me a card. Last years x-mas card from Gordon. How I cried remembering he’s not around any more, as I do writing this.

So he may never have elbowed (Howe) someone in the corners or read the News (Martineau) on TV or become an Canadian Music Icon (Downie) through such good and terrible circumstances. But he’s another Great Canadian Named Gordon!

A family man, a grandpa; a cousin; an uncle. A brother.

john and gordon peeing

That’s the humor when you put 2 Canham’s & 1 Elkin in the same washroom.

Photo credit: Ronald Canham

Images stars: John Canham; Gordon Elkin L-R

*Sirpa Green is a friend and ex-coworker. Beautiful lady, Finnish proper name. Green is her married name. Her maiden name has too many groups of double vowels I’ll screw it up

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