My classmates mostly had traditional names
By Frank "Judge" Barning
Going through my extensive files of early Levittown pictures, I happened upon a yearbook shot of Division Avenue High School's 1961-62 cheerleaders. They had sweet first names that included Linda, two Sues, Joan, Mary, Janet, Cathy and a pair with the solid, feminine name Melissa.
What strikes your blogger is the names of these young women. None are as off putting to my old-fashioned taste as are some of today's most popular names for girl babies. Examples are Savannah, Keira, Zoe, Madison, Addison, Camryn, Chloe, Jada, Peyton and get this, Brooklyn.The name Tiffany became popular a few years ago. I look forward to meeting a Tiffany whose last name is Lamp. As if Tiffany is not exotic enough, here are some alternate spelling of that name: Taffany, Tifanee, Tifaney, Tifani, Tifanie, Tifany, Tiffane, Tiffaney, Tiffani, Tiffanie, Tiffanny, Tiffeney, Tiffenie, Tiffine, Tiffiney, Tiffini, Tiffinie, Tiffiny, Tiphani, Tiphanie and Tiphany. None of these alternates are listed in my computer's spell check.
I knew someone in California with the last name of Shore whose daughter was named Sierra. Sierra Shore might be a good name for a stripper, a hooker or a beach motel. You have to be careful giving babies names.
And don't get me started on boy baby names. Jayden, Caden, Colton and Ryder are among the leaders on the 2010 list. In my class, the names Sterling (Morrison), Erling (Ernie Anderson) and Garrett (Gary DeCastillia) were among the very few that were not main stream. As I recall, Sterling's given first name was Harry (see correction in Comments section below).
Checking my class of 1960 yearbook, there were few of us with odd first names. Topping the charts might be Lilette (Levy), a different but charming name. And rare was the odd spelling. We had a Lorrayne (McCoy).
My mother had an offbeat, and rarely exhibited, sense of humor. She insisted that had I been a girl, I would have been named Tangerine. A song named Tangerine was a big hit the year I was born, 1942. It was on the Billboard charts for 15 weeks, peaking at number one. Dad wanted me to be Harry Herman Barning 3rd. Mother intervened on that, thank you very much. And I was named for her grandfather and brother.
Mother also, jokingly I assume, considered naming me Judge Barning. Imagine the taunts I would have received from the the boys in school. "Here come the Judge, here come the Judge."
And excuse me if you have grandkids with some of the names that I find odd. Please accept, in advance, my apology.