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Posts Tagged ‘robert donat’

pufferfish-deadly-family-supper-526942

Photo: Getty Images
This is a puffer, a very poisonous fish, as you may know. What you may not know is that “Puffer” is the surname of some actual humans. And that’s not the only unusual name out there.

In high school, I was impressed that a poetry-leaning classmate kept lists of vibrant and suggestive words just in case she might need one for a composition.

Not long after, I started collecting interesting names I heard on the radio or saw in the newspaper. I thought they could come in handy for writing fiction or plays. I’ve lost more lists than I’ve saved, alas.

Now it’s late in the day, and I offer my most recent list to you. Perhaps you can use a couple of these, real names of real people. Of course, realness could be a problem, I suppose, since no one will believe the names are not invented like so many in Dickens.

Here goes.

Wigglesworth
Charlemagne Palestine
Welfling
Shipchandler
Tobacman
Wagg
Bogus
Puffer
Weatherwax
Issie Swickle
Cowherd
Goodgame
Shortsleeve
Capeless
Lane Partridge
Toogood
Amelia Gentleman
Dr. Doctor
Noteworthy
Getsick
Death

Let me know if you use one and what the personalty of your character is. I don’t suppose I’ll ever stop collecting these as I find people’s names just too wonderful. So get in touch with me down the road. Or send me your own finds. T.S. Eliot says that the “naming of cats is a difficult matter,” but the naming of characters shouldn’t be difficult with so many awesome names out there.

(PS. Speaking of Eliot, check out this early reading of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, with Robert Donat. I’ve had the amazing recording since childhood.)

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Pumpkin-Smile-2014

 

Back in the days when we had more trick-or-treaters coming to our door, I used to play a series of Halloween-ish records nice and loud, like “Night on Bald Mountain,” the original “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” (with Robert Donat), and jazz trio Lambert Hendricks & Ross singing “Halloween spooks outside my window/Halloween spooks behind the tree./I wish that the children could see,/But I can’t find them for the life of me,/And there’re Halloween Spooks outside my window pane/Whoooo.”

Nowadays, families take their kids to housing developments where lots of children live. Last year no one knocked on our door. Fortunately, we’ve been able to join John’s two Halloween spooks at their neighborhood park’s festivities near Boston. And this year we’re hanging out with our middle grandchild, a Pirate, in Providence.

Here are a couple local photos that have been getting me in the mood.

graveyard

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