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FRIED LIGHT: What’s in a name?

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By Roger Snodgrass

My father was a cropduster, kind of a barnstorming migrant occupation, so we moved from town to town, according to the season and where the bugs were.

 

Sometimes I went to two or three different schools during the year. My least favorite moment was when the teacher said something like, “Kids, we have a new student. His name is Roger Snodgrass.”

 

I think there were few times when I didn’t hear at least a snigger and often many sniggers.

 

It took awhile for me to accept my name.

 

First of all, I began to discover there were many Snodgrasses.

 

It is very rare to this day that I meet an adult who does not ask me if I am related to the Snodgrasses in Lincoln, Neb., or Schenectady, etc.

 

Everybody seems to remember the one or two they know.

 

There was a famous Yankee centerfielder named Fred Snodgrass who dropped a very important fly ball during the 1912 World Series. Not many remember that he batted .321 in the 1910 season.

 

When he died, a famous New York Times headline killed him again: “Fred Snodgrass, 86, Dead; Ball Player Muffed 1912 Fly.”

 

Was I related to any of them, people would ask.

 


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