Tonight as we were heading home from tennis practice (our exchange student fancies the racket sport) Juyeon (exchange student) asked why we named Knox…Knox? Good question I said! So, here it goes:
My wife, Jean (who has an M.Ed and deserves most of the credit), while looking for a topic for her Master’s thesis decided she was going to attack inappropriate teaching skills in her piece de resistance (?). I just wanted to use that phrase but I take it you get the picture, right? So, we needed a model to base the “inappropriate teacher” on. She could either visit a great deal of schools and hope to God she would catch someone on their F day or we could review teachers in movies. An easy way to also entertain ourselves on Friday nights (or so I thought, there are a lot of movies out there with teachers in them).
We began with a great ditty called “Oleanna”. A must see for all of you who enjoy a good deal of suspense. Starred William H Macy as the inept teacher. A great B level movie and a wonderful play to see. Only two actors but it is riveting! We watched this movie several times and Blockbuster got a lot of late fee cha ching from me. This was back in the day of VHS and rewinding and late fees! A great movie and character to begin with. Then…
We rented “Dead Poets Society”. Most have seen it so you know the characters. Robin Williams as a new hip alternative prep school teacher who wants the boys to learn to appreciate the beauty and elegance of the written word. However his teaching styles were great for the aforementioned (gotta love a five syllable word!) thesis plan! (don’t worry I am not drifting here)
There were also two very important student characters who were very close but very opposite in their character.
They were Charlie Dalton the Eddie Haskell of the group of boys. He was the one who brought girls down to the “meeting place”. A rabble rouser with a sense of adventure, fearless in some ways and foolish in others. The second boy was Knox Overstreet. The boy who was very proper and his biggest act against the system was to ride his bike over to the all girls school to take action for the one he so loved! There were many other great characters but over 20-30 viewings we became connected to both Charlie Dalton and Knox Overstreet.
Two years later we were blessed with the news that we would be having a boy! We struggled with names…Zack …to many already, Conrad…nah, Peter III …nope! Then one night over dinner we started talking about names as the movie was running in the living room. Jean looked at me and said, “…what about Knox for a first name. one syllable, an X which is rare and a name that would not be forgotten by anyone (especially by teachers)…”. MMmmmm… nice! She then went on to describe how the personality of the character was one she hoped for our boy. I said I liked that but really hoped for a little Charlie Dalton in him. The answer: Knox Dalton Lendall!
It also helped that Nana’s maiden name was Dalton. It means rolling hills of green and is very old English. I am of Portuguese decent and Jean is from a family that has pride in it’s French Canadian heritage. So, nobody slighted. Everyone asked what name are you giving him? People had so much difficulty taking the name in before he was here.
When we got home, the landlord, Mrs. O’Connor, came out to see our beautiful pride and joy. She oogled as most do with a new baby and then looked at me and said"… you didn’t give him that name did you?!.." YES we did!
My son has evolved on his own into one special dude! There is not another name in the Universe that he could ever go by!
He has shown many of the best qualities of Knox Overstreet and Charlie Dalton. He truly fits the name. No person that he has met has ever forgotten his name. His teachers call on him often at the beginning of the year because he’s the one name they remember! It fits him like a glove.
My boy, my Knox. I often refer to him as “the Knox” because to me he is that, he’s IT! Those of you who are parents understand that sensation…that pride…that love and that joy that takes you over every time you think about them, see their picture or hear their voices…it really is magical,… isn’t it?
So, no nicknames for my dude…Knox is it! He is very proud of his name and someday he will be able to view the movie and fully understand what mom and dad were thinking way back then.
I can tell you one thing he’s happy he is not a twin! We made a pact that if we had twins we would respect our families heritage and name them Essence and Emeril after the Essence of Emeril show. Emeril Lagasse is Portuguese and French Canadian. As long as they were boy and girl.
So, there it is the story behind the name…
be well all,
(and Erica’s too!)