What’s In A Name?

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Fall is in the air, I just wish we could get some more rain. I am aware of,”be careful what you wish for”. An abundance of precipitation is not a good thing in the Winter months, I just need it while stuff is still trying to grow. I’m still getting tomatoes and peppers from the garden. I just need a little rain.

Well, I sent out all of my cease and desist letters to the folks I found violating park rules in my cursory walk around. I’ll turn up more violations as people call and ask for repairs, I’m sure. The stuff they show on the outside is the tip of the iceberg compared to what they hide on the inside. It will all work out, it’ll just take a while for the folks to get used to the “sheriff” being back in town.

While I was signing the cease and desist letters I got to thinking about my name, and the history of the Lites.

First off, let me say I was Bud Lite long before Budweiser stole my name. As much fun as I’ve had over the years answering the call of, “I’ll have a Bud Light”;  I feel I’ve also been unfairly burdened by the popularity of the beer. I can assure you the Budweiser folks did not come to me and say,”we’re going to make a beer that tastes like salted tap water and make it the most popular brand in America, do you have a problem with the fact that it’s named after you?”. Well, I’m sure in my ignorance I would have said, “cool” and looked forward to the notoriety. In retrospect, if offered, I would have said, “I want a cut of the profits from this bad tasting beer that’s going to forever brand me”. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. “If a bullfrog had wings he wouldn’t bump his hiney”, Granny Waller used to say. It’s all water over the duck’s back now.

Getting back to the Lite family name, Granddaddy Lite was something of a scholar, and he spent an unusual amount of time tracing the Lite ancestry. Long before there was a Google and an internet, Granddaddy Lite had tracked our ancestors back to Ireland. Apparently, our kin folks came over during the Great Potato Famine. Like so many of the Irish folks before him, Great Great Great Granddaddy Lite felt a kinship to the Appalachian landscape. Farm land that was filled with rocks reminded him of home, and he secured a suitable plot to raise a family. The Lites got here just in time to fight in the Civil War. Because Granddaddy Lite’s grandaddy was a land owner, he was a Captain in the rebel army. We don’t know of any war exploits, and he apparently returned with all of his appendages. My Granddaddy Lite was born on the same farm in 1901. All of my aunts and uncles were born there too. The farm was filled with good memories for me.

One of those memories was asking Granddaddy Lite why we spelled our name Lite instead of Light or Lyte. His response was that some people couldn’t read nor write when they got to Ellis Island and had to rely on the customs agents to hear what they were saying and record it correctly. Until I visited Ireland, I always thought it was the other folks that had arrived here ignorant. There ain’t a Lite in the whole of Ireland, I checked the phone book. Turns out, it was my folks who couldn’t spell Lyte for the customs agent. I guess the accent didn’t help any either, but not knowing how to read their name was the big factor.

Further examination reveals that my far off kinfolk even had a coat of arms. Imagine a coat of arms for your brand, instead of a label that says, “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.” Now, don’t get me wrong, that’s a wonderful sentiment in the right setting, but a coat of arms would have been way cooler. I might even allow coats of arms to be posted on the lots here at TackyToo. That would certainly class up the place.

So, for every descendant of every immigrant who has had to endure the incorrect spelling of their name due to their ancestor’s ignorance, let me just say, “this Bud’s for you”.

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