Opinion Columns & Blogs

The art and ability to name things

wmarshall@macon.com

Originally, as to the place we owned in the lower end of the county on Ga. 26, it was “SoHo,” as in Walker’s SoHo Farm. SoHo for South Houston. Just like the street in New York City. SoHo means the neighborhood or district south of Houston (“Howston” and not “Hewston”) Street.

Then we bought another place in the west part of Houston County. It’s loaded with big oaks, so we kept the name, SoHo, and it means Southern Oaks of Houston. We didn’t have to change bank accounts and charge accounts and that type of thing. It’s still Walker’s SoHo Farm. And, by the way, it could still stand for South Houston (it’s more south than north) or even Southern Hospitality in South Houston.

We like to name things. We have an old, blue Ford pickup truck named, of course, “Little Blue.” We used to have a white one that we called “Casper.” Casper, the friendly ghost, was white, wasn’t he (she)? You get the picture. We like to name things.

What if I had the right to name a professional sports team? Well, it might depend on what type team and where it was located, but I like the name “Bats.” If inherited the Atlanta Braves, I might change the name to the Atlanta Bats. Yes, there is a double entendre. See the next paragraph.

Let me confess. Sometime back, I read an excellent book, “Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba.” Bacardi Rum’s label is a black bat inscribed in a red circle. The family says these are the reasons this symbol was used: “As creatures, bats exemplified the ideal of brotherhood; lived and flew together; symbolized self-confidence; could fly in the dark without hitting anything; stood for discretion; kept silent; represented faithfulness and they always returned home.” Yeah, Atlanta Bats. I like that.

What if I could name a singing group — a good one capable of Top 10 music? Well, I tend to like the older names like “The Spinners,” “Classics IV,” “The O’Jays” or “Gladys Knight and the Pips.” I like the name of the band Russell and John Gray were involved with: “Gypsy Train.” And, my grandson Wade’s band is “Design Company.” But, the question is, what I would name a singing group? What about “Countdown to Zero,” “Phoolish Fonics,” or “Modern Blacksmiths?” Kinda dated for 2016, I’d say.

I’ve had the privilege of naming lots of corporations and limited liability companies. Clients would come in wanting a new legal entity and would say to me, “You come up with a name,” and I would. I’ve named lots of companies with which I was personally involved: Royal Union Productions, Main and Ball USA, Jancel Corp., Make Your Day, Atlanta Import Export, 1211 Company, and 1007 Jernigan come to mind. These names seemed to have worked pretty well.

What if I wrote a book? It would have to have a name, wouldn’t it? Of course, the subject matter would have lots to do with the name, but I’ve thought about “Characters with Character” and “A Flash of Joy in the Pan of Life.” Connell Stafford told me one night in the jungles of Costa Rica that I was a “flash of joy in the pan of life.” I thought it was one of the best compliments I was ever paid. So, I might call my book this.

A New Car — “Sleek” or “Potent”; An Incorporated City — “Bountiful”; Political Party — “American”; A Bank — “Foundation National”; A Restaurant on General Courtney Hodges Boulevard — “General’s Restaurant” (and I would fill it with pictures of generals from Robert E. Lee and U.S. Grant to Gen. Hodges himself); Construction Company — “Grand Builders”; River in Georgia — “Cherokee Red”; Clothing Company — “Joseph’s Threads”; Beauty Salon — “Heads Up” or “On Top of Things” (both Janice’s ideas); and, Oil Company — “T D Oil” for Thanks Dinosaurs.

Well, this is getting a little silly, so I’ll stop. But, if you need help in naming something, call me, I’ll help you for free, which is pretty good when you consider that those big ad agencies in New York get millions of dollars to do the same thing.

I’m reading a little book, “Slide Mountain or The Folly of Owning Nature” by Theodore Steinberg, given to me by my friend, Abby Sue Hunt Ginn. I’m really enjoying it, and will end this with two quotes from the book: “To represent or to say a thing is already to bring it into existence” and, “To name is to know, but it is also to own.” Pretty heavy, but it makes me know that my proclivity for naming things doesn’t mean I’m crazy.

Larry Walker is a practicing attorney in Perry. He served 32 years in the Georgia General Assembly and presently serves on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. Email: lwalker@whgmlaw.com.

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