Where have all the Georges gone?

Dear Editor,

When I was growing up in the ‘50s, there were Georges everywhere. In my first grade class we had several Georges and once I played on a baseball all-star team that had six Georges. When the coach said, “George,” he got half of the team’s attention. I can remember raising my hand to answer a question in elementary school and the teacher said, “Not you George, the George behind you.”

Phrases like, “Let George do it,” and, “By George, you’re right.” When have you last heard those sayings used? I kind of liked the old rhyme, “Georgie Porgie Pudding Pie, Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry.” My granddaughters looked at me right dumbfounded when I quoted that rhyme to them. Is George of the Jungle or Curious George even around anymore?

My dad was named George. He was named after his Uncle George. My son is a George. We didn’t drop the “George ball.” It is now so uncommon to run into a George that when I do, I immediately go up and introduce myself. It is really that unique. The other Georges are glad to see me, too. They tell me George Foreman named all five of his boys George. I like that man.

From 1880 until 1940, George was the #1 name given to newborn boys. So! Why all of a sudden, no Georges? I don’t think we can blame Boy George for the total demise or even the Bush family.

Over my last twenty years in the school business, I would look over the student rosters in search of just one George. There were no more than three or four over a twenty-year period of time. To top that, those Georges used nicknames. I did have one teacher during my last five years as a principal with the name George. I would pass him on the hall and say, “Hey George.” He, in return, would say, “Hey George.” It just kind of put an extra kick in my step.

I am blessed with two beautiful granddaughters and probably no boy Georges on the horizon. Due to the shortage of Georges, I beseech you, “dads of the future.” Put the George name on your list of prospects. Say it over and over to yourself. It is a great name, and now a unique great name. You know the Father of our Country was a George; and the man who invented peanut butter was a George. If it was good enough for George Washington and George Washington Carver, it should be good enough for you. There was George “Babe” Ruth, George Burns, George Patton, George Clooney-and even a Saint George. This list of Georges is just the tip of the iceberg.

P.S. “By George” Benton, Bamberg, S.C.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Dear Editor,

I’d like to remind all your readers that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and take this opportunity to say how proud employees of the U. S. Postal Service® are of the Breast Cancer Research stamp, a semi postal stamp that raises both awareness and money—over $67 million so far--for the cause of fighting this dread disease.

Few things reach as many Americans each day as the U.S. Mail®, so postage stamps can provide an opportunity to provide powerful support of important social issues.

The 55-cent Breast Cancer Research semi postal stamp covers First-Class Mail® postage plus generates funds for this important cause. The first semi postal stamp in U.S. history, the Breast Cancer Research stamp was issued at the White House on July 29, 1998 and features artwork of a mythical "goddess of the hunt" by Whitney Sherman of Baltimore.

By law, 70 percent of the net amount raised goes to the National Institutes of Health and 30 percent goes to the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense. Many victims of breast cancer right here in South Carolina benefit from these programs.

To support the fight against breast cancer, visit your Post Office™, call 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724), or go to www.usps.com and click on Buy Stamps and Shop.

Cheryl C. Pinillos, Bamberg Postmaster, Bamberg, S.C.