Re: Collecting
A Conversation about Ageism

A Plethora of Barbara(s)

We had two consecutive out-of-town weekend visitors this month, both named Barbara.  There are three Barbara(s) living in our apartment building.   Barbara was my next-door neighbor and close friend as I was growing up.  My brother’s high school love was a Barbara.  My sophomore year hallmate and senior-year roommate were both named Barbara.  And so was our next-door neighbor while our kids grew up.

I was a fan of Barbara Stanwyck, Barbara Walters, Barbra Streisand, and Barbara Bush. If they had been born today, they would have been Madison Stanwyck, Ashley Walters, Olivia Streisand, and Sophia Bush. 

Now that I am forgetting people’s names, I am grateful that I know so many Barbara(s).


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Charlene Volpert

I have many Judy classmates and friends, I think in "honor" of Judy Garland. I still run into age-mates at exercise class or meet new Judys in various places. I always am happy to meet another one, telling them always I never met a Judy I didn't like. And yes, it is easier to remember a familiar name.


Have you seen the NYT graph that charts the popularity of names for a century or more?

Maureen Helen

We named our eldest daughter, born in 1961, Jenny. Perhaps we should have done more research. At one stage there were three girls called Jenny in her class.


Many of my mother's friends were named Marjorie and known as "Marge". Many of the students in my class were Linda, Nancy, Barbara.

When I became a teacher, there was at first a surfeit of Tammy's. Then everyone was a Jenny. Then came the era of Kirsten, Kristen, Kiersten, etc. And, before I retired, my students seemed to be named after the meteorological--Rainy, Misty, Stormy, Summer, Autumn---and finally everyone, male, female, cis, tran--everyone--was a Taylor.

I named a son Austin because it seemed rare and had a nice lineage: he was born on Jane Austen's birthday and I wanted the spelling to be easy (because his surname is a strange melange of difficult and counterintuitive vowels). Since then, he's reviled me for naming him after "soap opera trash".

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