Really, What's In 'My' Name?
I've got to be honest. I hate my name: KENNETH AVERY
I know why. I believe my dad named me when I was born, November 27, 1953. Why Kenneth is beyond me. Over the years I've been secretly mentally-tormented by my name, Kenneth, that sounds a lot like a character in literary master, J.D. Salinger's, "A Catcher In The Rye," oh to be that lucky. My name, Kenneth, sounds too, like a tour guide in some retirement home in Palm Beach, Florida where wealthy people from New York City and all across the nation retire with their untold, uncounted millions to spend their days wiling away sipping vodka martini's, napping, playing the occasional hand of poker and then eating like a king from a spread that would make King Solomon green with envy.
My name is also reminiscent of some hot, popular girl, a senior in high school, who has this sissy guy friend named Kenneth, who loves soft, cushy sweaters, pants and white poodles named, "Bruce," who has his own therapist. Designer dog house. And personal bath room. The hot girl, "Missy," appreciates sissy Kenneth, for he is always there for needed girl-talk after one of "Missy's" relationships with someone who is beneath her, goes awry. Yes. Kenneth Baxby, the sissy friend. That's why girls loved my name. Frankly, there were no "Missy's" in my teenage years, but the girls who DID give me the time of day, never took to my name. Much. Now, at the mellow age of 57, I finally know why. Kenneth sounds so soft. Girlie. Comical.
But that was my birth-name, Kenneth. I wish now that I had asked my dad, (before he passed away on Sept. 26, 2005) why he named me Kenneth? Now my middle name, Austin, is not such a mystery. That was my dad's first name. People that he knew--strangers, friends, neighbors, even traveling Bible salesmen respected dad's name, Austin. It was manly. Strong. Well-appreciated. And I am very thankful for whomever in my dad's family who gave him such a strong, American name.
I cannot say that about my name: KENNETH AVERY
my name has but two variations: Ken and Kenny. No, I am not going to adapt 'Ken" for the reason you should already know. I am not going to spend the rest of my life being laughed at by men and women who never liked Ken, Barbie's on again. Off again. Boyfriend. Personally, I think Ken got a raw deal. I should be as good-looking. Thin. And handsome as Ken. By the way. Since I'm on the subject of Barbie and Ken, what were their last names? Anyone know? Were Barbie and Ken's creators fearful of giving them a last name for by doing that it would affect their sales? I need to know. This might turn out to be a conspiracy bigger than the Watergate Break-in, in 1974. Oh it could lead to some really powerful, big. people if it were investigated.
I wanted my name to be
manly. Rough. Respected. A name that sends chills up a pretty girl's spine. And she swoons openly without fear that her lady like dignity will be damaged. That was what I wanted in a name for me. A name that when spoken (by girls in my teen years) would make the prettiest majorette tremble with true love. "Ohhh, look there goes 'D.D.' Slash Avery,' what a guy," a girl named, Margaret Callahan might say to her best friend, Molly. whose long, dark eyelashes would begin to bat as fast as a hummingbird's wings.
But no. My dad had the brilliant idea that Kenneth Austin Avery would sound brave. Tough. Nice. I can see the nice. Nice as in sissy Kenneth Baxby's role to "Missy," and her tragic break-ups, but did my dad not take a good look at me in the nursery when I was first born? Apparently not. Of course I do not blame him for not seeing into the future. My dad wasn't a trained psychic. He was a day-laborer. Worked with his hands. Farmed. Ran machines. Built houses. Played the fiddle. But didn't have psychic abilities.
These celebrities, who HAVE great names,
are samples of what I would have loved to be named. And by using a few changes, I could take each of these star's names and would have led a happy, successful, fulfilled life.
BOB "GILLIGAN" DENVER
I loved him. He was popular. Cool. Recognized world-wide as a superstar who made millions of people happy as larks. I would have been happy with the name Ken Denver; Bob Austin; even Bob Austin Avery. Maybe Ken Denver. See? I could have used Denver's name to help myself be like him in every way.
NOTE: I know. Denver is seen with a cigarette. That hurts me as much as it does you. I want to say that I, Kenneth Avery, am NOT promoting or condoning the use of cigarettes or any tobacco product by running this photo of Bob Denver.
was the prototype, innovator of the anchorman news slot with CBS News. Talk about respect. Edwards was that. Respected. Admired. Trusted. By all whom tuned in the CBS Evening News to hear him tell about some outbreak in Cuba. A coffee-shortage in Spain. And the stock market rising (what a time!) another hundred points at day's close. Now with Edwards' name, look what I could do. Douglas Austin; Austin Edwards; Kenneth Douglas; Ken Edwards. It's all so clear now. My name, Kenneth Austin Avery, was not a name of high-respect. Just a common name for a common boy in Hamilton, Alabama who is now a common man in Hamilton, Alabama.
or commonly-known as "Doctor Johnny Fever," on the CBS hit, WKRP in Cincinnati. This guy, Hessman, well, that name wasn't what I wanted. I feel really bad about that. The name, "Doctor Johnny Fever," was was I loved. And almost idolized. If I had become (what I wanted) a radio disc jockey, I would have used "Doctor Johnny Fever," with my own name. Names like: "Doctor Kenny Fever"; Johnny Kenneth; "Doctor Austin Ken," or this one: "Austin Fever." I would have went far with that name. But with Kenneth Avery, I would be just another jobless man in Chicago.
JACK BURNS, COMEDIAN
a good one too. Burns was better-known as Warren Ferguson, who had the mistiming of trying to replace, yes, I said replace, Don Knotts as Barney Fife, on the "monster" show, The Andy Griffith Show. And although Burns gave this role his all, Griffith, it was said, fired him after a few shows for as Griffith put it, "he (Jack) didn't add to the chemistry of the show," and that was that. But if I were to take Jack Burns and mix it with my name, just look at the end-results: Jack Avery; Kenny Burns; Kenneth Burns; Jack Austin; Austin Burns that was so easy. I'm not saying that I would have made a big splash in show business, but my name using Jack Burns would be a lot more interesting than Kenneth Avery. I can tell you that.
probably my all-time favorite actor, character actor, and sometimes funny man on movies and television shows. Jack Elam starred in an early CBS western, The Dakotas, where he played a lawman and with the help of other lawmen, kept order in North and South Dakota. But get his name. J.D. What a manly-name! When people say, J.D., they've said with those two initials, that whomever is blessed to have this name should instantly be respected, feared, and admired. Think of how I could have used J.D. "What's your name, son?" a bully looking for trouble would ask. "J.D.," I would reply with a glare. The bully would leave as fast as a chance of winning a lottery. And with these changes: J.D. Avery; J.D. Austin; J.D. "Ken" Avery or just plain J.D., I would have had all the girls I wanted. Be let in free at all concerts and ballgames. Given free meals at our local cafe's. You see now what I love that name, J.D.
famous host for Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Who in America didn't love Perkins and his co-host, Jim Fowler, on this Sunday night staple on NBC? No one. It was a mega-success from day one. Perkins, not as fluid and proficient with animals as Fowler, did a tremendous job narrating all the scenes with the animals. "Now Jim is slowly taking the wild wart hog by the, uh, by the...nose, and Jim! And placing a, hey, Jim!" was the norm many times for Marlin Perkins' style of talking about animals. But using Kenneth Austin Avery with Marlin Perkins would have given me these powerful names: Kenneth Perkins; Marlin Austin; Marlin Avery; Austin Perkins; Kenneth Marlin names that would have guaranteed. Locked-down. Sealed my destiny as a popular. Out-going. Worldly man. Not a wimpy wus who had to stay around home most of his young life.
was a famous actress in early Hollywood. I know. She's a female. But that name, Jinx, that is a cute name that girls and guys would have at first, said cute things about, but then admired me for having this name and made me a part of their social group. Look at these creative mixtures of our names: Jinx Austin; Jinx Avery; Kenneth Jinx Avery; Austin Jinx there would have been no humanly-way for me not to taste popularity. Success. Love, if I had been given the name, Jinx.
was one of the main characters on the CBS Television icon, Captain Kangaroo, with Bob Keeshan as the captain. Cosmo Allegreti, a creative genius, made Mr. Moose, Bunny Rabbit, Magic Drawing Board and Grandfather Clock come alive every morning to the delight of millions of kids (and grown-ups) who grew to love this show. And yes, I couldn't use the "Mr.," but Moose, I could use to help my status in my teenage years. Moose Avery (shows strength, power); Moose Austin; Austin Moose; Kenneth "Moose" Avery that, looking back, might have been used by would-be popular friends like this, "Hey, Moose Avery, you going with us to get a burger?" Of course, I would have went. Who doesn't want to be popular?
legendary Country Music singer, performer and co-star, with the now-late Buck Owens, on yes, CBS Television's most-successful ventures, Hee Haw, that the majority of entertainment editors and writers across the nation said would flop. Hee Haw lasted for over 15 years. And with Roy Clark's name, and his talent for guitar-playing, (which I could have taken lessons), I would probably be called Roy Avery; Kenny Clark; Ken Clark; Roy Austin; Austin Clark; Kenneth Clark Avery and be retired today, wealthy beyond measure--living the good life somewhere in Greenville, Mississippi.
was probably, without argument, one of the most-popular actors as well as character actors Holllywood ever had. Holloway's naturally-humble image and memorable voice and facial expressions, made him an instant-star on shows like Life of Riley with William Bendix, countless movies, and his most-memorable role as that of "Burt," the door-to-door salesman on the Andy Griffith Show who disliked his job due to, "them ringin' door bells," as he said. I would have given most anything (monetarily) to be humble and lovable as Holloway in my teenage years. And his name, put with mine, just read these popular samples: Ken Holloway; Sterling Avery; Austin Sterling; Sterling Avery; Kenneth Sterling; Austin Holloway and yes, I would have been adored by droves of pretty girls. And been remembered today by my high school class.
TONY JOE WHITE
famous singer, songwriter, producer and music icon. With his deep, raspy voice, White made a household song of, "Polk Salad Annie," that made him wealthy. And this song that was rerecorded by such stars as Elvis Presley and others, just solidified Tony Joe White's place in the memories of his friends and fans alike. Oh how I'd love to have that name Tony Joe White. And put it in my mixer with my name and get instant-fame. Love. And outrageous popularity with names like: Tony Joe Avery; Kenny Joe White; Tony Joe Austin; Kenneth Joe Austin; Tony Austin White I would have been chased by pretty girls in and after high school graduation with my new name. And be money ahead with royalties from "Polk Salad Avery," and be sitting in the shade of a spreading palm tree somewhere in Las Vegas.
But thanks to the heartless, ruthless, and insensitivity of a thing called reality, I am forever stuck with this obsure, unnoticeable, forgettable, and common name.
Sadly, this is Kenneth Avery saying "Thank YOU," for taking time to read this hub.
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