How incredible is this photo? I think I audibly gasped when it turned up in my Google search. (Yes, I was Googling my name. Don't pretend you don't do it too.) Obviously I was dying to know more about the story behind the photo and a quick email to the owner of the website was well worth it. The man in the photo is Fred Bauman and the plane is a P-51 fighter-bomber, which he flew in missions from Iwo Jima to Japan and back during WWII. He named it after his wife, Edna. Fred passed away in 2003, but Edna is still alive today, living in Rochester, and will turn 91 this March! Take what you will from the fact that Dear Edna's anniversary is in March too. I was given her mailing address and am seriously considering sending a note to let her know of her namesake. What do you think?
Since we're on the topic of namesakes, it's only fitting that I explain where my "Dear Edna" comes from. It is probably the most common question I get asked about my business, especially since my name isn't Edna at all. In fact, I received an email from Expat Edna just a couple weeks ago, curious for that very reason. That's fair — I would want to know too. But I'm always a little trepidatious when it comes to answering this question because it has the risk of being taken offensively. You see, it was the name that two of my girlfriends gave me one evening when we were all behaving like "old crones", as we liked to call it. Before you jump to the "oh, so you think I'm old" reaction, Ednas of the world, you can't deny that it's an old-fashioned name. My friends Bea and Gert were born of that evening as well, and our new monikers stuck, as nicknames do. We ended up addressing birthday cards and emails to each other using these alteregos and short story-lines even developed. Edna hitches up her horse-drawn carriage to go to the quilting bee, for example. Haha! Silly girls.
So when it came time to name my business, for which traditional wares like aprons and tea cosies were the focus, Edna naturally came up. I bounced around a few other names for awhile, but always came back to dear ol' Edna. It just felt right and of course now I can't imagine anything else.
Ever since this photo popped up, I've been really interesting in names and their histories. I loved this article on business names by The Design Trust, for example. If there is a story behind your name or something you have named, please share. I'd love to hear your stories!