My husband is a Century 21 real estate agent in Burlington, N.J.; a recruiter in the greater Philadelphia area; a manager of EarthLink’s call center in San Francisco; and he holds the records for the 100 and 200 meter dashes and 400 and 800 meter relays at Pennsylvania’s William Tennent High School.
My son Jon is an engineering director in Providence, R.I.; a computer science student at West Virginia University; and a visual arts grad and member of the squash team at Bowdoin College.
Wait a minute. Squash? My Jon? I don’t think so. That’s another Jon Crowell, for sure.
I’m not exactly sure why I first placed my name in the “search” box of the giant online search engine Google. But when I did, up popped 2,750 online references to my name. Well, they’re not all me, they’re the attorney in California and the artist in Michigan (although, oddly enough, the fifth entry was my column from June 19, 2008 — go figure).
I’m not surprised there are more than one of me. There were plenty of the “maiden name me” — Susan Miller wasn’t exactly an unusual name in Holmes County. In fact, there was another Susan Miller two years ahead of me in school. All the way through school. We also shared the same middle initial, the same rural mail route, and the same party telephone line for awhile (you do remember party telephone lines, don’t you?).
After high school, I thought I had left my twins all behind, but then I went to an overnight college orientation and some jokester had placed me in a room with, you guessed it, another incoming freshman Susan Miller. She was tall and pretty. I hated her on the spot.
It could have been worse. My sister Carol went through grade school with another Carol L. Miller in the same grade. And Walnut Creek Elementary is so small, they were stuck in the same classroom. Carol L. Miller and Carol L. Miller. They parted ways after sixth grade, only to discover yet another Carol Miller had arrived on the scene. Sister Carol and the new Carol invader went through junior high and high school as Carol L. and Carol S. (But there is a name god. Now, she’s Carol Pozuc. The only one. Just ask Google.)
Of course, in Holmes County, we get around the common names by using initials. Often two, like Eli J.C. Yoder or E.L. Fudge. OK, so that last one’s a Keebler cookie, but you get the picture. And you end up being known by your kin, anyway. I had to move 65 miles away from home to be known as something other than “Donnie’s Susan”. Not that that’s a bad thing, Dad, honest.
I can tell you which Google Susan Crowell I am not: The one immortalized in the Walthill, Neb., centennial stories. The one whose story starts out, “Susan Crowell, wife of Charles Crowell, mother of 12 living children, became an excellent seamstress early in life. Her cooking and seamstress skills served her well over the years while raising her family.”
I really wish my husband and mother would stop laughing.