My mother’s name before she got married was Alice Rogers. I sometimes thought it would be nice if rather than taking our father’s surname we took our mother’s. I’d imagine at times my last name to be Rogers rather than Connolly. If that if that were the tradition I thought my cousin Roger would be known as Roger Rogers. That would be cool. It would be sort of like a friend I had growing up whose name was Thomas Tarmey. We called him Tommy. He also referred to himself as that. If you were from my neighborhood you’d know that in saying the name Tarmey the listener would hear “Tommy.” Tommy told us a story about getting a summer job. He was asked by a potential employer his first name. He responded Tommy. Then his last, and the employer heard “Tommy” He worked for that summer under the name “Tommy Tommy.” I often wondered about another friend, Jackie Thomas. I wondered if he wouldn’t have preferred to be called Thomas Thomas. He then could be Tommy Tommy too. One of the schools in our neighborhood was the Edward Everett. We called it the Eddie Eddie. I don’t remember if Tommy Tommy was attending the Eddie Eddie at that time he got the job. You have to admit that growing up in America being a Rogers was something to be proud about. Think of the association with other people. I could have told my friends I was related to Roy Rogers. He was one of our heroes. Sure Gene Autry was around at the time but who knew the name of his horse or his girl. We all knew of Trigger and Dale Evans. Fortunately at that time there was no internet so I had no way of knowing Roy’s real name was Leonard Franklin Slye. One real Rogers though was William Penn Adair Rogers, known as Will Rogers. Unlike our present senator-who-would-be-president Elizabeth Warren, his parents both were part Cherokee. His father Clement was a Cherokee judge. Rogers County, Oklahoma is named after him. Will sometimes said that his folks didn’t come over on the Mayflower but they met the boat on its arrival. Rogers not being a Cherokee name it is likely Rogers was from Ireland. In the early 1800s Irish immigrants who came over as indentured servants escaped their employers, fled west and ended up marrying Native American women. It was noted: “The prevalence of intermarriage was such that many political leaders of southern tribes were at least part Irish.” The Irish may have suffered transportation to the American colonies as early as 1653. Of course in my youth things like that were not part of my consideration. I assumed all of the Rogers came from County Mayo like my grandfather. When I went with my brothers to find his place of birth, Ballaghadereen, we were told we were in County Roscommon. It was not until I found that it originally was in Mayo, and was at the time my grandfather lived there, I was satisfied we were in the right place. There are still Rogers living there. ‘Twas there I bought some dillig which I was assured would last until I got home. That was a mistake. But I must mention the man who sold it to me was not a Rogers. My favorite Rogers was Ginger. Who wouldn’t like to think she was part of the extended family. Beautiful and talented, she made all of us Rogers proud. Only in the internet days did I realize her birth name was Virginia Katherine McMath. She became a Rogers when her mother remarried John Logan Rogers. Fred Roger, aka Mr. Rogers, came along much later. He also was a true Rogers. But by that time I was content to be a Connolly. It’s hard to figure out if my life would have been any different as a Rogers. I may have made up more stories about being related to Roy and Ginger. I would also have been able to quote some of Will Rogers’s clever sayings and refer to him as my cousin Will. Then again, if it were the mother’s name we used I’d never have been a Rogers because my mother would been named after her mother whose maiden name was Catherine Ring. If my last name were Ring I’d have no famous relatives except perhaps the Diamonds or Claddaghs. I guess I must be content with having told all the lads and ladies how I was related to the great Irish Patriot James Connolly. I guess it all worked out well in the end.