Friday, October 15, 2010

Family Names

"Where did you come up with those names?" Doug asked. "They're great!"

"They're their family names," my son replied.

Doug was reading from a script, the brainchild of my son that came about from a conversation he had with his Grandpa Drake. Miles never spoke about his tour of duty during WWII. We all knew not to ask, but his grandson did. A story unfolded handed over to another generation.

James feels that this story was given to him for a reason. He has stepped back in time asking questions and discovering more. He thought about his grandparents who lived in town. A grandfather who left a young wife and two children to go to war. He asked about his grandparents who lived on the farm during this time. His new bride asked about her family. The stories were their history and the history of all who suffered from that war and all wars. Lovingly, he named the roles from those of his family and Lisa's, many names native to Darke County.

I was surprised to hear Doug ask about the surnames. Never had I thought they were unusual and uncommon. I have wondered since of the people who settled in the county. Did those families share a journey together? Did they have the same country of origin? Were they drawn by other family members? Were fleeing from another place? Why did they settle where they settled? Our family included surnames of Loxley, Johnson, Besecker, Hollinger, Langston and more. Do other parts of the country have their own nests of names? Surely they do.

My son is writing a musical about World War II. It is a work in progress. A group of actors and directors have offered to participate in the readings shaping this material. Whether it will ever see the stage is still unknown, but a history is alive in the pages he has written. A history that began in Ohio.

No comments: