Sunday, July 13, 2014

Useless Trivia Information

I admit it, I am a trivia slut.  I just cannot get enough information that basically means nothing.  Oh sure, I have my strong areas of trivia (movie stars, Fifties and Sixties, historical figures, geography) and my weak areas (math, science and common sense).  

Lately these useless pieces of trivia have been running through my mind much like hearing a musical jingle creates an earwig in your brain that you can't get rid of.  I think these totally non-interesting tidbits of trivia in my brain were triggered by the biography I'm reading of our 40th president, Ronald Wilson Reagan. The book was written by the acclaimed author Edmund Morris, biographer of Teddy Roosevelt. I have to admit I'm having a hard time plowing through Mr. Morris's book but I will finish it for I am fascinated by president Reagan's life.  Not the least of which we have the same name.  In fact we have the same middle initial "W."  And we also have the same alliterative name, two syllables each in our first, middle and last name.  And the number of letters in both of our names add up to nine.  And nine is my lucky number.  I was born on the 9th of November. Have I put you to sleep yet?  Get this.  My present house address also adds up to 9.  Have you it the red "X" up in the corner of this blog yet?

So folks, here is one of the most interesting facts that has always amazed me.  I was never happy with the name assigned to me at birth "Ronald."  However, my Mother insisted on that name because she didn't want to name me the "ugly" (her words) name of my father Isaac.  Ironically, today "Isaac" is considered somewhat cool.  Right up there with the "J's", "Jacob, Joshua, Jeremiah, Jason and Jarred.  But I digress.  

So my Mother had her was and named me after her favorite movie star of that time (1941), the suave, melt in your mouth speaking voice,  English actor Ronald Coleman.  

I see the resemblance even if you don't

But here I go again, veering off into another subject.  This is what happens when I write my blog by whatever wafts through my head.

Here's the point I want to make.  My name is "Ronald."  My brother's names are Isaac (yes, Pop finally had his way and his second son was named after him) and John.  

Growing up in the Fifties I always thought it was interesting that president Dwight D. Eisenhower was called "Ike."  That was my father's name.  Same with my brother, "Ike, Jr."  Who would have ever thought a president would have the "ugly name" of Ike?  So I was sort of proud that a president was called "Ike."

Then of course there was the election of John F. Kennedy. If course "John" is a very common name.  No surprise that a man elected to be president would be named "John."  In fact we have had five presidents named "John."  I know most of you can name four of them.  But can you name the fifth?  Bet you can't.

But I never in a million years thought a president would be elected with the name "Ronald."  Never. So imagine my surprise and delight that a man was elected president named "Ronald."  Of course I voted for him, both times.

So there you go folks.  My exercise in triviality and frivolity (I hope) this hot, muggy Sunday.  

Do you feel enriched?  Enlarged? Engaged? Or do you just feel enraged that I just wasted five or more minutes of your time on this totally useless series of facts about moi?

Happy Sunday folks and do something good for yourself to stay cool.


anne marie in philly said...

john adams, john quincy adams (father and son)
john tyler
john kennedy
andrew johnson (I know, doesn't count)
but I ain't about to google it

(and no matthew, luke, mark, michael for presidents either)

nitewrit said...


Well let's see. There was John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John Tyler, John F. Kennedy and then a guy often known by the nickname, "Silent". It's generally thought this was because he didn't talk much, but maybe it was because he kept his first name of John silent.


Karen said...

My uncle was also named for the actor Ronald Coleman. I will have to check to see how old he would be. Thanks for sharing!

Ron said...

John Calvin Coolidge. Who knew? I didn't. Of course our 30th president dropped the "John."

Ron said...

Very interesting! I've met a couple of "Ronalds" checking in at the hotel around my age who were also named after Ronald Colman. Of course I've been accused of being named after Ronald McDonald by some of the younger generation who have no idea who Ronald Colman was.

Ron said...

Anne Marie,

John Calvin Coolidge. Know what? I bet you would be great on a trivia team? I just know it! I used to play trivia every Wednesday evening at the Brickside Grille in Eagleview when I lived in Pennsylvania. We have a fun team. That's one of the few things I miss about Pennsylvania, our weekly trivia night get togethers. I know they have trivia down here too but I think it's more of a gay thing and I know next to nothing (nor do I care) about Broadway show tunes. I'm missing that gay gene.

WARPed said...

Life is a Cabaret, old chum...



Unknown said...

Hi Ron, I think you and I have the most useless information and trivia stored inside our heads I know I do. I'd give you examples but don't want to bore you! OK maybe just a few, did you know or hear that the first TV commercial for McDonalds, Ronald the clown was played by Willard Scott the weatherman on NBC TV Today show? And don't get me started on 80s music or the subject of television. And I have one more for you, did you know there is a village in eastern Iowa named Tipton? Did you have relatives that made it west to Iowa? Tipton isn't very big about 3200 pop. approx. 45 mins. west of the quad cities. Hey! maybe between me, you and Pat we can know all the useless info there is.

Jack said...


I don't know if my earlier comment to you actually went through so I'll write again but in a shortened version. Apparently my 14 great grandfather was named John Adams born 1502. Fast forward to my 8th great grandfather was named Sumner Adams born 1635 in England and had 5 children one of whom was Sarah Adams born 1677. Sarah married Allen W. in 1694 and died in 1706. In her short marriage she managed to have 6 children ( I can only imagine what the cause of death could have been). If you don't see where this is going, I just found out yesterday that through my 14th great grandfather, I am distantly (somewhat) related to John Adams, 2nd president of the United States. It's a long story using both Ancestry and FAG International. Most of the Adams didn't come to America until mid 17th century. Most settled in Massachusetts or Connecticut except Sumner who managed to get himself to Cecil County, Maryland, hence Sarah meeting my 8th great grandfather which is where most of my paternal family on both sides hale from. Regarding John Adams circa 1502, his ancestry begins with ARNULPH, Bishop of Metz, France born before the year 600 died 631 A.D. and decends 5 generations to CHARLAMAGNE, Emperor of the West, born 2 April 742 who, was who was King of the French and Emperor of Rome. Charlemagne begat Louis I (The Pious, King of France) and his son Charles II, King of France begat a long line of counts, dukes, barons, etc. until came Sir JOHN A P ADAM, Knight. At this, the 31st generation, John Adams' great great grandfather, Sir John A P Adam dropped the A P and added "s" to Adam. Then there were two more John Adams's before we got to John Adams born 1502. So even though I am distantly related to John Adams, president, I am apparently more closely related to Charlemagne and Charles II Emperors and Kings.

I shared this information with you because of your post and quite honestly was quite excited that I apparently came from royalty though I haven't been able to trace John Adams my 14th ggfather from France to England which is where he was born and died. I am pretty much 99 percent sure the information is accurate, my family kept excellent records going back at least a couple hundred years.

I was going to make this a shortened version but I just recently found out John Adams (1502) ancestry and as I said I got pretty excited. Sorry for the length.


Jon said...

I love trivia and your post is fascinating. I very seldom tell this secret but I will now. My father's name was John and he insisted that I should be named after him (my Mom opposed the idea, but dear ol' Dad won). I always hated being a "junior", especially since my father and I were mortal enemies most of our lives. Two Johns in one family was annoying. First we were Big John and Little John. Then young John and old John. I couldn't stand it.
As soon as I graduated from high school I had my name legally changed to Jonathan. Sure, it was still Jon - but at least it was slightly different than my father's name. I like the spelling of "Jon" better than "John".

I met Ronald Reagan when I was fourteen and he was truly a wonderful person. He gave me a book, which he also inscribed. At that time I unfortunately was still "John"
The book is inscribed "To John, my very best wishes always, Ronald Reagan."

I definitely remember Ronald Coleman. God, I'm ancient......

Ur-spo said...

Knowledge is power; education is never a waste.

Raybeard said...

Where to start? But just picking up on something you said - the happiest and most affluent time of my life was spent when I lived in Oxford at a Number 9, when my phone number reduced to a 9 - as well as my name, converted to digits, reduces to 9, both by the name I'm known by and in its longer three name + surname version. When I moved (1988) my life went pear-shaped from whence it has never recovered. Oh, hindsight can be a blessed - and exasperating - thing!

Ron said...

Dr. Spo,
That's what I say! I'm a sponge for information. Always have been, always will.

Ron said...

I've had ore affluent times of my life but never happier, which I didn't expect at this time of my life at age 72 (which adds up to 9). If I should die tomorrow I would have no regrets because I have experienced true happiness. But I don't plan on dying anytime soon so I'll take every day of this bliss I am now enjoying.

Ron said...

All towns and villages named "Tipton" emanate from my paternal family history. I can trace them all. And yes, I knew that Willard Scott played the Ronald McDonald clown. Do you know who played Clarabelle on the old "Howdy Doody Show"?

Ron said...

All I can say is "Wow!" My family history isn't quite that exalted. I think I'm descended from serfs. Oh well, someone had to be. Thanks for the family history. Very interesting.

Ron said...

So you're a "Jonathan"? The name "Jonathan" is an honored and revered name in my family history. The first Tipton to arrive on these shores was Jonathan Tipton in the late 1600's from Jamaica. He was part of an English colony in Jamaica. Ironically, later day Tiptons didn't name their children "Jonathan" but rather "John." John has always been one of my favorite name, although it is very common.
Ronald Reagan was always one of my favorite presidents. Maybe I didn't agree with some of his views (most of them I did) but I felt he brought a much needed optimism to our country when we sorely needed it. After the downer four years of Carter (malaise), Ronald Reagan was a breath of fresh air. I'm reading a biography of him now by Edmund Morris called "Dutch." Have you read it Jon?

anne marie in philly said...

bob keeshan, "captain kangaroo". and there is a tipton PA also.

Jon said...

Ron, I haven't read the biography "Dutch" but I've heard of it. I'll put it on my future reading agenda. I didn't always agree with Reagan's policies, either, but he was truly a sincere person and he loved our country with a passion. I never thought Reagan was goodlooking, but I will say that he looked much better in person than he did in films or photos.

Ron said...

I too believed that Reagan was sincere and loved our country. I would rather support someone like Ronald Reagan, even though I didn't agree with everything he said ("trees cause pollution") but he was a leader and that's what this country needs, not a politician who has a finger to the wind. I too didn't think Reagan was good-looking (not my type) but I could see where others did. To me Ronald Reagan had zero sex appeal but then I think Barrack Obama also has zero sex appeal. In fact I can't think of a politician now who has any sex appeal. My mind is a blank. Maybe I'm thinking too much about sex. :)


Raybeard said...

I'll hold you to that, Ron - and I've every confidence that you won't disappoint. ;-)