Thursday, July 29, 2010

Names That Inspire Devotion

--Adrienne Miller

I named my first heroine Charlotte Fenton. It wasn’t a random name. Charlotte was for Charlotte Bronte. And if you have to ask why, then you’ve obviously been spared the experience of me cornering you at a party to drunkenly lecture you on why Jane Eyre is most amazing, life-changing novel ever written. Others have not been so fortunate.

The Fenton part, on the other hand, is a little more interesting...and a little less fan-girl creepy. Fenton’s is an ice cream parlor in Oakland. Okay, not just any ice cream parlor. It is the ice cream parlor, with flavors so drool worthy and portions so huge you’d think that you had died and were given a counter seat at heaven’s own scoop shop.

Think I’m exaggerating? I’m not. Chances are you know about Fenton’s. Did you see Up?

Yep, it’s a real place, and as wonderful as Russell makes it sound in the movie. It's a beloved institution. My great grandparents used to go there when they moved a few blocks away in the 40's. My grandparents as well. Then my parents. And now me and my kids. That's five generations of sweet ice cream love. 

Here it is in real life.

When I was pregnant with my first son, I ate at Fenton’s almost every day. On those days that I was so sick that I could hardly keep anything down, I would make Tom walk down to Fenton’s with me and order us up a couple of hot fudge sundaes with extra nuts. It was so dang good, it could knock morning sickness on it’s ass.

The day Jack was born we figured he was built almost entirely out of Mocha Almond Fudge.

As for Jack, he was born in 2003. The year a little movie with another Jack came out.

A few years later, another movie came out, and Jack got a little brother, Will.

I’m not saying I names my kids after a couple of fictional pirates. I’m just saying some names, they stick with you.


Unknown said...

Wow, Fenton's has upgraded since I lived in that 'hood in the mid 90s. Miss it still--when that part of Up came on, I hooted and hollered to confusion of other patrons.

Martha Flynn said...

hmm....maybe our next crit group needs to be at Fentons!

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