Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

My Name

My parents named me Anthony. With an "h". It wasn't a family name and I suppose they simply chose it because they liked it. I like it too.

I like the associations. Mark Antony was a cool  guy (at least he is in Shakespeare) and St Anthony is my kind of saint, solitary, fixated- out there in the desert seeing visions and combatting demons; I've written poems about him.

I went to the sort of schools where everybody- even your mates- call you by your surname. So I was Anthony at home and Grist in the outer world. I never picked up a nickname. School friends sometimes addressed me as Gristle but it didn't stick (I'm glad to say.)

And then- I suppose in my late teens, but I can't remember exactly when- everybody except my immediate family took to calling me Tony- and I have answered to it ever since.

The associations it carries for me are 1. Tony Lumpkin the amiable, clod-hopping country squire in Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer and 2. Tony Armstrong Jones- Princess Margaret's social-climbing, playboy husband. I don't think I'm the least bit like either of them. Then of course there's Tony Blair- and all I want to say about that is I was a Tony long before he was.

Tony is an acceptable name, but I don't particularly relate to it. I think of it as a label that has been attached to me- as if I were luggage in transit.

It'll do for the time being...
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