When we got the Dodge it was immediately clear that we had an old car with character, a vehicle with stories to tell. Add to that the fact that the Dodge had been in our family, a member of the family of sorts, for 64 years and it was absolutely clear that the Dodge needed a proper name other than “The Old Dodge.” Joel agreed wholeheartedly – we needed to find a name for the Dodge. But first, was the Dodge a him, we wondered, in need a guy name? Or a her? Or did the Dodge need some sort of genderless name?
The Old Dodge – in need of a name
We’ve brainstormed and come up with several name possibilities. At first we figured we had a “guy” car so tried out names like “Howard” for our Grandpa who owned the Dodge. We thought about “Elmer” for our great uncle who owned it before Grandpa. “Manuel” also came up as a possibility and even “Marvin” for our uncle who we bought it from. None of those name quite took. So the Dodge continued on without a proper name.
In the weeks that followed, it seemed that when we talked about the Dodge we were starting to call it “her” so we started thinking of female names. “Wanda” was super cool but already the name of our brother’s old Dodge truck. “Edith,” our Grandma’s name just didn’t seem right. Other names were falling flat as well.
Until this morning when Joel mentioned a name that might just be The One.
This morning I headed over to Joel’s with plans to go for a Dodge ride. First, though, we sat down in Joel’s kitchen and talked to a reporter named Kaitlyn about the Dodge (seriously – she called last night to see if she could write a story about the Dodge project/Dodge blog. I’ll let you know when the story runs). At one point in the interview I mentioned something about how the Dodge still doesn’t have a name.
“I called her Josephine this morning when she wouldn’t start,” said Joel. (to prepare for the reporter’s visit, Joel decided to make sure the Dodge would start this morning. She wouldn’t. At first. He hooked her up to the battery charger. She started when the pressure was on and the reporter was there to take pictures of her).
“Josephine? Why Josephine?” I asked, already liking the sound of the name.
Joel said he didn’t really know other than “Josephine” is sort of like “Joel” and somehow “Josephine” is the name that came out of his mouth when he was frustrated the Dodge wouldn’t start.
“And isn’t it some relatives name, too?” he asked.
Joel was right. Josephine was the name of our Great-Grandmother, our Mom’s Grandma. Our Grandpa Howard’s Mom.
Josephine. The more I say the name the more I like it. The fact that the name was our Great-Grandma’s makes it even better. Somehow it just seems right.
Josephine and C.C. Anderson celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary.
P.S. Before I drove back home today, I stopped at my parent’s house to say “hi” and to ask Mom a question about the name Josephine. When Joel mentioned “Josephine” we both remembered it was the name of a relative but couldn’t remember just which relative, though we knew she was on our Mom’s side. I was also thinking that Josephine was a middle name, not a first name. So I asked Mom just who Josephine was. “She was my Grandma,” Mom said. Moments later, I noticed a framed picture on Mom and Dad’s kitchen counter that I never remember seeing before. The man looked an awful lot like my Grandpa Anderson. Could the picture be of Great-Grandma Josephine and Great-Grandpa C.C. ? I asked Mom. Indeed it was – the picture was of my Great-Grandparents celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. What are the chances of finding this picture on the very day that my brother calls the old Dodge “Josephine” for the first time? Pretty slim, I’d say. But that’s what happened.