Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why Harvey?

Our little boy is due to arrive sometime in the middle of May. His name is Harvey.

Some have wondered why the name. Some haven't really liked it. And most absolutely love it.

One of our main reasons is simply because it's different. Really. My name is John. My wife is Sarah. I don't have actual statistics to back this up, but these are likely two of the most common names in the history of the spoken-word.

Sarah's maiden name is Mitchell. One time when she was taking her dog to the vet, there was another Sarah Mitchell in the computer system, with a dog named Lucy.

And I've nearly given up on responding to John, and prefer to be called by (my very unique) last name, Clore.

So giving our first-born a unique name was a priority. It seems to be working so far.

But more important than any of this, Harve (no y; pronounced Harv) was my great-grandpa. Great-grandpa Harve Clore. A man I never knew, but would give nearly anything to have had the privilege.

It does seem, however, that 9 out of 10 people in Southern Illinois (where I'm from) did (somehow) know him. And, being a Clore, I believe that. We like to talk to a lot of people.

New Harvey is named after his great-great-grandfather. Since my baby boy will never know this very important man in his family's history, Sarah and I sought to connect them in a special way. (Side-note: there are many, many, many important people on both sides of our families; and in our genealogy. This is not to exclude any of those loved ones, but this Harvey name is a very special one for deeper reasons than appropriate for this very-public blog).

Anyway, I recently asked my dad to share some of his memories of his grandpa Harve; a man that was extremely important in his life, and always will be. Actually, a man better known to him, as Pa Pa.

My dad shares, "On many Fridays I would go to Catechism, and after that, I would stay with Pa Pa. He lived in nice rented-rooms in people's homes. When he moved to the high rise across from Mackie's Pizza (Harrisburg, IL), we would get up on Saturday mornings and he would fix me two eggs sunny side up, a nice piece of ham, two pieces of white toast and a big glass of milk. He was a very neat and clean person. He wanted my breakfast to look like the picture of breakfast at Kresges (dime store) on the square, in Harrisburg.

On Friday nights we would listen to Cardinal baseball games on the radio - he was known as a big time Cardinal fan. (Harvey's room's theme is St. Louis Cardinals)

After breakfast, we would walk up to the square in Harrisburg and he would find someone who would drive his truck for him that day to go cow trading. He would say, 'I will buy you a hot plate lunch if you will drive for me today,' and would always find someone to agree.

He never learned how to drive, but always had a pickup truck with cattle racks. We would drive down into the country - usually in the Pope County area. Most of the roads were gravel and produced a whole lot of dust. With the windows down (no A/C), the dust would be rolling, the cigarette smoke (usually from both the driver and Harve) going, it was hard to breathe any fresh air. It seemed that Pa Pa knew everyone and everyone knew him.

We would go to some farmers house. We all would get out of the truck and go with the farmer to look at his cows. Pa Pa and the farmer would talk, for what seemed like an eternity, and finally settle on a price. We would then try and catch the cow, put a noose around its neck, and lead it to the truck."

Absolutely precious stories, at least to me.

Intentionality is very important to me. Harvey's name is intentional, as is the love that Sarah and I already possess for the little guy.

1 comment:

I'm Kate... said...

I absolutely LOVE the name Harvey, and think its a perfect fit for your little miracle. :) God bless you both!!!! We can't wait to meet him!

I need to ask my grandma (from Ridgeway) if she remembers your Harve. I'm almost 100% sure she does.

xoxo,
katie and joe and joey

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