What’s Your Name?

Errol Morris goes through the meanings and assumptions we attach to names:

On the other hand, the name did matter to Clark. He had changed his name from “Gerhartsreiter” to “Rockefeller.” And the new name opened doors. He met Sandra L. Boss, a student at Harvard Business School. It was at a “Clue Party” that he had organized in Manhattan. She came as Miss Scarlett. He was Professor Plum. Clearly, role-playing and a multiplicity of names entered their relationship from the very beginning. The Globe article reports her saying: “He saw me across the room and was immediately smitten.” They married. Seven years later a child was born — Reigh. As Clark told The Globe, “I had never thought of becoming a father and all of a sudden this little bundle came along… And it made a huge impact on me. It was a life-changing experience.” He was a stay-at-home father, and taught Reigh to read at the age of 2. “I started her on Alfred Lord Tennyson … And we spent hours and hours reading ‘The Daisy.’”

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