Sunday, December 18, 2005

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

Thirty years ago we named our first son Rockwell Tyson Hunter. From time to time some one will ask why did we pick such a name.

Well, my middle name is Tyson, and so it is my father's, and it is also his mother's maiden name.

Now for the name Rockwell. Back in 1957 when I was in high school, one day a new kid came to class. I forgot his first name but his last name was Crane. He was tall and Lanky. He sat next to me in class and I asked him was he related to Ichabod Crane. He gave me a hateful look.

Then, that same day, at lunch several of us were up around the baseball field hanging out. Crane walked up near and stood at a distance. Trying to friendly and to welcome him as one of us, I said, "There is old Whooping Crane!'

He came at me swinging his fists like a lopsided windmill with broken blades. He had no fighting sense about him. He only knew when you are in a rage you attack giving it all you have by swinging your fists.

I am not much of a fighter either. But I do know how to dodge a something coming at me, especially when the route of the on-coming fist is so predictable. So, I merely danced around dodging his fists, and from time to time hit him in the face with no problem at all, he knew nothing about blocking oncoming blows either.

I won the fight. I had no damage look about me at all, no blood, no body scratches or marks, where Crane on the other hand had a bloody nose, and puffed up swelling around the eye and his clothes were torn and dirty.

There was a movie playing at downtown Marietta's Strand Theater at the time, starring Jayne Mansfield and Tony Randal. The name of the movie was "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" And not many months before the movie "Somebody Up There Likes Me", the story of Rocky Graziano, prize fighter starring Paul Newman. Both movies plus Craine and my actions called somebody who witness the fight to say, "Will Success Spoil Rocky Hunter?"

My new nickname caught on and spread quickly. I was Christened "Rock Hunter" by my peers. I went by the name Rock for the next ten to fifteen years, and still when and even now when I happen to run into a long lost friend, chances are he/she knew me as Rock.

So, it was only fitting that I named Rocky Rockwell.

And some place else in this blog world Crane may be at this very moment posting his blog which ends by saying "... and that is why we named our first son Icabod."

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