Difficult to believe, no doubt, but sometimes your favorite columnist screws up.

In Tuesday’s column, I botched the last name of local attorney Melissa Graham-Hurd. Although I quickly corrected the online version, I still deserve 50 lashes.

Fortunately, a former high school classmate of hers injected some levity, pointing out that it’s easy to goof up the name of a woman who has nine of them.


Although Graham-Hurd doesn’t generally use them all, she had eight names in high school and added another when she married.

Her real name is (take a breath) Melissa Ann Fraser Donnelly Lang Dougal Pollock Graham-Hurd.

The women in her mother’s family carried their mother’s names with them through the generations. Graham was her maiden name, Pollock was her mother’s maiden name, Dougal was her grandmother’s maiden name and so on.

Imagine trying to buy this woman monogrammed towels.

“Most of the time, I stick with just the first name and the last name but insist that it be alphabetized under G,” she says.

I asked the former classmate, the Rev. Christy Ramsey, whether Melissa was subjected to any teasing in school.

“A friend and I dared each other to learn her whole name,” he replied. “We were the only two who made the effort — and then we were too mentally exhausted to tease her.”

Not that Christy Ramsey has much room to tease about names. He was “John” Ramsey throughout his first 40 years before switching to his middle name, which also was his grandfather’s first name.

Why the change? Ramsey says he was suffering from a midlife crisis and “my wife warned me that I could afford neither a convertible nor an affair.”

Revised script

In the wake of the news that Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona was arrested in the Dominican Republic for lying about his identity, Bob Stroud of Cuyahoga Falls suggests a partial rewrite of the classic Abbott and Costello vaudeville routine:

“Who’s on first and What’s His Name is pitching.”

Wide selection

A Bath resident pointed out that a recent Crime Watch item involving his township had the potential to be misinterpreted. It read:

“A former employee of a Medina Road grocery store was charged with theft after a security agent doing a random check said the employee had two bottles of liquor and marijuana.”

Never knew the Montrose Acme stocks cannabis.

Akron unzipped

Following a column about the 11 other Akrons in the United States, Mike Altvater, a resident of the local Akron, responded thusly:

“I’ve read several accounts of the origin of the University of Akron mascot’s nickname. But did you know that in the years after UA came to be known as the Zips, the U.S. Post Office implemented its ‘Zone Improvement Plan,’ which introduced the country to the ZIP code?

“And what do we call words that are made from initials? That’s right ... wait for it ... an ‘acronym,’ which, in German, is actually spelled ‘akronym.’

“Akron everywhere? At least wherever you find a ZIP code.”

Quite a reach, Mike, but I like it.

I thought you were pulling my leg on the German word. Turns out you’re not.

For the record, UA’s sports teams acquired the nickname “Zippers” way back in 1926. It was a bow to the brand name for galoshes made by BF Goodrich. The name was shortened to Zips in 1950.

The post office didn’t implement the ZIP code until 1963.

Even the Pony Express moved a lot faster than that.

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com.