Thursday, November 01, 2007

The name game

As part of the research for my small town's downtown historic walking trail project that I'm involved in, I've found that in the 100+ year history of the town, businesses were generally named after the people who owned them.

Sandusky Chevrolet was owned by the Sandusky family, the Gooden's built the Gooden building and Norma's House of Beauty was indeed owned by a blue-haired coiffure named Norma.

Where I grew up, as old businesses were bought by new owners, for whatever reason, the new owner's would often times opt to keep just a portion of the previous businesses name.

A Comfort Inn became "Com on Inn" (remove a few letters, change an "r" to an "n" and you're back in business).
Phil's Deli became Phi Deli (It was all Greek to me, but there wasn't a gyro on the menu)
The Luxury Car Wash became Lux Car Wash (wonder what he did with the u,r, and y?)
Tastee Freeze became Taste Freez (guess he had something again e's)
Even the market where I worked my first job as a Courtesy Clerk went from Alpha Beta Supermarket to Shang Hai Yau Fat (just try and figure out that one!)

Much like the "Chinglish" my old work buddies and I would enjoy deciphering when reading instruction manuals for Taiwan-made discount electronic goods, there was humor galore when envisioning two immigrant brothers making the decision to turn their recently purchased "Comfort Inn" into a "Com on Inn."

While this new business naming short cutting may be prevalent the world over, here in my small town, folks don't even bother with the letter dropping - at least pharmacist don't.

When Dennis' Pharmacy was bought by Larry Adams, it didn't suddenly become Larry's Pharmacy. Dennis' Pharmacy is still around and doing quite well with a thriving drive-up window clientèle.

Same thing happened with Tom's Drug. Charley Randall bought out Tom's Drug from Tom, but didn't see the need to confuse his customers by changing the name to Charley's Drug.

Tom's Drug it was, and Tom's Drug it remains to this day.


EnJoysLife said...

I enjoyed a good chuckle regarding your comments on the changing of names in the city where you grew up. You see, I grew up there as well. Every time we drive by the "Com On Inn" on the way to grandma and grandpa's house, my kids enjoy reading the sign. I graduated the same year as your brother and heard about your blog from somebody who graduated several years after us. I'm happy to see you still have the same sense of humor you had back then.

OKDad said...

Hmmm... a "Joy" that grew up in MPK, who graduated with my big bro, has kids and has parents who still live in the old hood.

Many to my yearbook I go...

Do me a favor and swing by The Hat next time you're down that way....mmmm, pastrami dip.