Letters to ...

Letters for January 2011

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This is a letter from a contributor to our sister publication, "Rye Reflections". It reflects on an article in the December 2010 issue of our Melrose Mirror. 'I remember certain names'

Interesting discussion of names by John Averell, especially because it is quite different from how I remember names from my computing career. I got to know the initials of many co-workers when we began to use Unix systems in the late 1970s - our login names were our initials, as was common practice with Unix at the time. Related to that, we went through several spells when we had unusual concentrations of co-workers with the same first names. At one time it was William/Bill.

I proposed that we adopt a southern naming convention of using the first two names as an improvement over initials, so we would have had Billy-Jim, Jimmy-Bill, Billy-Mike, Billy-Fred, etc. Nobody found it amusing except me! Another time we had large numbers of Bobs and I proposed making it a hiring requirement that anyone named Bob would have to change their name as a condition of employment. Another one of my failed bright ideas! :--)

Now in retirement, with less reliable memory accepted by myself and my peers, I use my photography hobby to keep track of who's who. We have a weekly men's coffee group that has developed a regular following, often with 16-20 in attendance, typically ranging from 65-85 in age.

People come and ago as their schedules change and as they migrate with the seasons. Early on I started taking thumbnail pictures of each newcomer. There are now 76 pictures and I distribute an updated handout with pictures and names several times per year. This takes two pages, since I don't drop any photos, but migrate those who've moved away or are deceased to the second page. I like to claim that picture location is determined by payment for placement, as with supermarket products! Here is a thumbnail of the two pages that we published in "Rye Reflections" earlier this year:
http://ryereflections.org/servlet/pluto?state=303034706167653030375765625061676530303269643030353132333834

- Jim Cerny, former "Rye Reflections" writer from New Castle, NH


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