Makes You Wonder

I am a big baseball fan. I especially enjoy watching the LA Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants.

In today’s game with the Dodgers against the Tampa Bay Rays, the announcer was running out of stuff to say, so he started stating little known facts about the players.

The Dodger catcher is a 22 year old named A. J. Ellis. Here is his story (and how he almost didn’t get born). In 1912 his grandmother was given a ticket to go to the United States from England on an ocean liner.

She missed her train and so missed her trip on the Titanic. Then later, when she was emigrating to the United States, she had to go through Ellis Island. The line was long and when she got to the gate, the immigration officer took one look and her long, unpronounceable Czechslovakian ???spelling??? name, stamped her entry form ‘Ellis’ and that became her name.

I still don’t understand how that became his last name. The grandmother would have had to get married, have a son, who had a son. But why was her married name Ellis? Maybe he just liked the story.

Pretty amazing story. Here is one that is even closer to home. My father’s name was Conrad W. Cornfeldt. He never liked his name and when he came to Hawaii in 1932, his co-workers called him Mr. Conrad. Just as if your name was Robert Johnson, they would call you Mr. Robert, out of respect.

He like this and started calling himself Connie, with the last name Conrad, which looked better on his architectural renderings.

So when he met my mother, she thought his name was Connie Conrad. But it wasn’t. To change your name legally, the notice has to be published in the newspaper for three days. As Honolulu was a pretty small town in 1936, my parents put the notice in the Hawaii Times, a Japanese language newspaper.

Otherwise my name would be Sandra Cornfeldt, not Sandra Conrad. Thanks Mom and Dad.


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