Hi! My name is GeorgeEllen (not yet legally; gonna do that as soon as I have dollars laying around to pay for that and to replace my passport and all my IDs).
I was named Ellen after my dad’s mother, George Ellen. George Ellen was so named because her father already had a daughter and wanted a son, dammit (an aunt added the Ellen for a feminine touch). Georgie, as she was nicknamed, who-knows-how-influenced by her name and the knowledge of how badly her father wanted a son, went on to, in part, play on her high school football team (such a thing, at the time, was not forbidden). She also, I’m told, led the damn marching band (she must have been quite the quick change artist at halftime).
The reason I have to rely on second-and third-hand accounts of her life and am only beginning to learn much about my namesake at all in my late 30s is my grandmother died of a heart attack at the age of 52, not long after my parents began dating and well before I showed up.
I think of her a lot these days, especially in the wake of my father’s death by a heart attack last year. I am beginning to understand how being a housewife in Texas in mid-20th-century America killed her.
And so I’m doing my darnedest to break the chain of suppression in my family.
I live in a yurt in the woods near Belfair, Washington (can I apply to change the name of the state while I’m changing my own??) with husband Scott, little doggy Pid, and orange old man cat Crush. I’m happy out here, in a way I never dreamed possible.