What’s up with that name?

Naming a blog is almost as important as naming children. A name sets expectations and gives the reader an idea of what kinds of things they’ll find if they click on the link. I spend way too much time trying to think of clever names for things but I think the names I have chosen are appropriate. I drive a 1999 lime green Beetle whose name is Prudence. She has daisy lights in the back and sunflowers in the vase on the dash. When I bought her the Beatles song Dear Prudence kept playing in my head, so there you go. I have a tattoo of a naked fairy on my back and her name is Francesca. What do you think of when you hear that name? Exactly. My fairy is curvy, buxom, and  has dark hair. The name fits.

When my daughter announced she was expecting my first grandchild, I immediately began to worry what he or she would name me. I’m definitely NOT a Granny or a Grandma. My mother-in-law is Grammie, so that was out. My mother had been Nina, so certainly not that. I knew the child would pick a name for me and no matter how hard I tried, I would have little influence on what that might be. Jacob was born in 2012 and I anxiously awaited his first words. Sometime around his 2nd birthday the lad christened me Gigi and I was quite pleased. Gigi sounds like someone who is adventurous and exciting and terribly chic. Since I  have a habit of wearing sunglasses with sparkles and fabulous hats I think Gigi is a fitting name for me.

So, the first half is explained…Gigi is me. We have to go way back for the a-Gogo part.

Mary Rose Mannix Dorsel was my husband’s maternal grandmother. She was married to William August Dorsel. Most of the time she called him Bill but he was also known as Gus when she was angry. One of my favorite Rosie-isms came out of a loud discussion between the two…”You want to fight? I can fight!!!” I adored them both and some of the best weekends of my early married life were spent visiting them in Highland Heights, Kentucky. Mary Rose was the Grand Matriarch of the large Dorsel clan and nothing got past her, ever. Once, at a Memorial Day family weekend, she woke me from a sound sleep to ask if I wouldn’t be happier if I stopped dating her grandson. Her reasoning was that if I stopped distracting him, he’d stop cutting classes at college and actually pass a couple rather than fail them all. She made me cry and I was afraid of her for a while, but when I got to know her better I saw that she was a strong woman. She had lived through a lot of painful things and came out The Mama. She and her three daughters were (and still are) role models for me and taught me how to be strong and how to be The Mama of my own Dorsel sub-clan.

Ah, long way around to the point of the story. In the late 1960’s when Mary Rose became an empty nester she decided she wanted to travel and Bill, being Bill, didn’t always want to go with her. She joined a group by the name of Travel-a-Go-Go Club. Can you see it in your mind? Mary Rose in plaid Bermuda shorts and Jackie O. sunglasses de-boarding the plane in Bogota, Columbia? One hand on the rail, the other holding a martini with a round over-night case hanging from the bend of the martini hand elbow. I know she visited Bogota, the rest is my imagination, but with a name like Travel-a-Go-Go Club the image fits. She traveled all over the world, sometimes with Bill, sometimes with friends, but the point of it is at a time when middle-aged women were thought to be done with life, Mary Rose was seeing the world.

Mary Rose Mannix Dorsel - The original Gigi-a-Gogo

Mary Rose Mannix Dorsel – The original Gigi-a-Gogo

That’s what I want to do. Put my middle-aged self on a plane heading anywhere armed with my laptop to record the adventure and some protein bars for sustenance. Gigi is ready to go-go. Follow along and see my next stop…Gigi-a-Gogo is preparing for another trip the first week of June. Find out where next post.

1 thought on “What’s up with that name?

  1. Hello , I am searching for long lost family and I think that Mary Rose was my dads sister. I found Mary Roses Mannix Dorsel s name on Ancestry.com when I did a DNA sample. Mary Rose Mannix mom was Mary Mahala Eshelman Mannix. Mahala was listed as my Fathers mother. He was given up for adoption in 1927. Just looking for someone with some info about family members. Thank you Phil Amstutz


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