What’s In A Name?

I got a letter from Vera who is a relative living in Russia. Through some confusion she addressed it to my brother George. I take no offense. My name has been difficult to explain ever since the first grade at Sacred Heart School in San Francisco behind the church.


I still remember that September day back in 1956. I was in shock. All of a sudden my daily routine had unexpectedly changed. I was in tears as my mama tried to answer the nun’s questions. Sister asked her how to spell my name. With frustration on her face and with continual prodding by the nun my mom finally blurted out “Like the Street!”.

“You mean Geary Boulevard?” the nun asked politely. My mama rapidly agreed, “Yes, like Geary”. So even though my friends and family would call me “Jerry”, now due to an official spelling, I am often called “Geary”, “Gary”, and thankfully still “Jerry” as well. With learned tolerance I now accept any and all names, as long as I know they are talking to me.