What’s In A Family Name

December 8, 2013

I ambled on down to the Idiot for my usual Sunday Brunch ….it was crisply cold for Southern Californians…like in the low 60’s …..

my favorite Mexican Chef (must ask him his name)…was on duty …he saluted me with “Hello My Friend”….I must ask my Mexian friends Nacho and Angel…if I respond back “Hola Mi Amigo” would it be correct…………

They ALL know my order….had a Very handsome black man…who told this one gal…I will take care of him…..he has a wonderful grin…beard…..most likely an actor…in his 20’s….

the Idiot was not that crowded but then again it was only 11:45……

they were playing recentish music…like songs in the “aughts” as they call the years with a zero in the beginning of this century….wonderful familiar songs…the names I could not remember….but this one song was playing about grab your man and dance…and the waitress (scoozey the female server) grabbed a towel waving it over head and started happily gyrating…..

brought a smile to my lips……

I opened my favorite section of the Sunday NY Times “Style”….and there is an article “What’s in a Name: Family and More” by Jacob Bernstein….about how women years ago….like back in the 80’s and earlier…KEPT their maiden name…..which made me think of one of my favorite women ….Laura…..who kept her maiden (somehow that term seems dated now)… name…..

and more recently …guess it must have been in the Aughts…..that my beautiful in soul and body….niece-in-law…(what a terrible name…sounds like she should be in prison – in the Netflix movie “Orange”)…..married my nephew…..

she is just amazing…the kind of girl every mother hopes their son will marry…..her name is Laura also but pronounced differently as she is Catalonian….so it is pronounced “Lawh (as in owh!)hrahhhh” ..well sort of ….my grand nephews will correct me…..

anyway….Jacob goes on in this article about how now with Gay Marriages….does one keep their name…hyphenate it with their spouse….change to their spouses…..??

the article points out the fact how difficult it is for children……. they have, to use it in growing up….in their early years……imagine the nuns asking you as a child (at the age of 7) to get up beside your desk and tell the class whom you are

…well my name is Ignacio-Hildegarde- Bernstein …….as opposed to Nacho Stein

my thoughts fled off the paper…and I wondered WHY my 2 favorite Lauras did it….the tad older Laura did it back when women’s lib was more alive…the second Laura….did it more recently….but the question I have for both of them….did they want their kids to have their maiden name….or was it more that the children should carry the male’s last name……

I must ask my friends Nacho and Angel …it seems that ALL Mexican males carry their mother’s maiden names somewhere in their name…

which makes me think of my old St Albans friend…whose mother was British and her husband Canadian…he was named John Peter Ashely Mountbatten Bernhardt…but went by the name of Peter…will never forget going to West Virginia to ski with him and his parents…his Mum kept coming onto me…her father drove their HUGE Cadillac…the one with the fins and you put the gas in it by pushing a button on the fin and it flipped up revealing the gas tank….this must bave been back in the early 60’s….but his Mum “Iris”…would get in the back of the car with us and twist to the music (yes it was a BIG car)….as her busband “Bernie” drove on with raised eyebrows I espied in the rear view mirror…and skiing back then was a rope tow…you grabbed onto and were yanked up the hill……sometime your mitten would adhere to the rope and come off your hand as you tried to exit the tow…………

Family names makes me think of the new Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts that recently opened in Beverly Hills…

last night I TOTALLY loved attending a show there..due to the theatre and NOT the performances…….

“Parfumerie” with two of my oldest and best friends Nabil and Jeff…..what Wallis has done is sooo soo wonderful…the old Beverly Hills Post Office was up for sale….due to the Postal business being in the Red for years….and selling ALL of their old wonderful buildings like the one in Berkeley…..

it is a Magnificent building in the heart of Beverly Hills…her foundation bought it and put in two theatres…a small one in the old mail sorting room…and the larger one in a new structure that is sooo fabulous……I really admire her

..Wallis is the daughter of the publishing magnate Walter ….(TV Guide etc) who was into SnM…back in the day….much to his second wife Lee’s disgust…when it was publicised ….

he supposedly liked to be ridden by his girls, blind folded, and whipped….and this could be all untrue…as one knows how The Enquirer loves inflatious scandal….

but according to Wikipedia..Wallis is the Chairman and CEO of ‘The Annenberg Foundation – a multi-billion dollar philanthropic organization

“she was born into a Jewish family in Philadelphia to Walter and his first wife Bernice…a socialite from Toronto…when she was 10 years old her parents divorced…her mother moved to DC and married Ben Ourisman, a Chevrolet dealer…her father remarried Lee Cohen, the niece of Columbia Pictures’ president Harry Cohn….

she had a bother, Roger, who committed suicide at a psychiatric institution in Bucks County, Pennsylvania at age 22 in 1962

she married Seth Weingarten …they had 4 children…..(all on the Annenberg Board except for her son Roger (named after her deceased brother)….who was diagnosed schizophrenic at age 15)……………….. .they divorced in 1975”

(sigh!!!)

what a life…

she has always kept her last name…

I finished my lunch by reading in “Style”….about John Water’s Christmas Party

“…I have had it for more than 40 years….Everyone comes, from the mayor to Pat Sejak to a judge and a well-known criminal I helped get out of jail. There’s a bar on every floor of the house and a buffet table where you’ll see the guy that played the singing anus in “Pink Flamingos” standing next to the Governor…”

he is one man whose last name has and won’t EVER change…..

4 Responses to “What’s In A Family Name”

  1. Richard Steele said

    Now exactly where were you going with this story???? I got lost after you sat down to read the paper. Loved it. R&R

  2. Diana Skrah-Devers said

    Hi Robby! I could open this, so all viruses are now gone. 🙂 I kept my last name when I married Danny for a couple fo reasons: 1) When I was in junior high and my parents were having marital problems, I told my father “I hate you and cannot wait to get married, so I can change my name!”. When I grew up and learned to appreciate the challenges life brings as an adult, I kept my maiden name as a gesture to my father, whom I love dearly to this very day. When I married Danny 5 years ago, I kept it for professional and legal reasons, but in our personal life I may use Diana Skrah-Devers or just Diana Devers. Can’t wait to see you on Wednesday! Thanks as always for sharing!

  3. lauramans said

    In Spain most women don’t change their last name. Only if you are very traditional you do it. The kids usually get their fathers last name and then their mothers last name, it is usually not a choice like in the US, people just does it this way (everyone has a first and second last names). We gave our kids my last name as maiden name and then my husbands last name as their last name. I like it because in Spain it reads as if my last name is the “main” one, but it is the opposite in the US. Wow, sorry, not sure if it makes sense. I’ll explain it better next time I see you. And keep posting pictures on instagram, I like to see all what you read about!
    Laura Mans Vallès

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