Good Morning Gentle Readers,
My mother hung on to this promotional newspaper all these years, before sending it on a few years ago. The newspaper with a headline announcing my arrival was a clever marketing tool, brimming with ads and advice that was aimed at the families of newborn baby boomers.
All his life my father thought his name was Clarence Raymond Snell, Jr, as did everyone else. That's why the headline refers to the Clarence Snells. He didn't like the name, Clarence. He was Sonny at home and Ray everywhere else. His dad didn't like the name, either, but he wanted a junior and that was that. Except that it wasn't.
Pop apparently never looked at his birth certificate until he was in his sixites. No need to, the government wasn't obsessed with identification. You were who you said you were and people accepted that (as they should). When dad applied for social security he was asked for an original birth certificate. It was then that he discovered that, on the sly, my grandmother had christened him Raymond Richards Snell.
Richards was her maiden name and it was traditional for children to carry on the mother's family name as a middle name. That's still done in many families, especially if the old country is a fresh memory. Apparently, she never mentioned her coup to The Mean Old White Man (my grandfather) and lived her entire life, being quite content with her private choice. I bet she was secretly pleased when dad took Ray as his chosen name.