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Celebrity Name Alike The son of two Newfoundlanders (Jessie Spracklin from Charottetown, and Fred Harvey from Boswarlos), I too was blessed with a famous name.
In the early 1960's, while that famous defenseman, Doug Harvey was making history in the NHL, I was starting my career with a large automotive firm as well as dating my future wife. Her landlord, Don, always introduced me as "Doug Harvey from the Montreal Canadiens". One night at a house party, ... click to read moreThe son of two Newfoundlanders (Jessie Spracklin from Charottetown, and Fred Harvey from Boswarlos), I too was blessed with a famous name.
In the early 1960's, while that famous defenseman, Doug Harvey was making history in the NHL, I was starting my career with a large automotive firm as well as dating my future wife. Her landlord, Don, always introduced me as "Doug Harvey from the Montreal Canadiens". One night at a house party, the playoff's were on and of course, all the guys were glued to the TV, while the girls wanted to get down to the rec-room and dance. A couple that I had never met came in and of course were met with Don's usual introduction. After sitting there throughout the entire first period, the young lady looked at me and said, "You are not really him, or else how could you be there and here at the same time?" I replied, "This game was played last night and this is really all on film!" She sat there fidgeting and fuming through another whole period and at the next intermission asked, "So if you guys all know the score then why are you sitting here watching it?"
On another occasion, when I tried to pay a grocery bill with a $20 bill, the store manager said, "We believe this is counterfeit! All the number on it match the phony 20's that are floating around." Since I did not have another and the store would not accept a cheque, I said I would go over to the police station which was near by and have it checked out. As I walked up to the long counter, I could hear the NHL playoff's coming from a TV in a room at one end, and several officers had their head looking into that room. You can guess who was playing in that game. One officer came to the desk and after examining the bill, and putting it through a few tests, stated it was genuine. I then asked if he could do me a favour and call the local grocery store manager and tell him that it was real. He said he would and asked my name, When I said, 'Doug Harvey", three faces poked their heads around the door where the TV was playing and cried, "Doug Harvey?". I said, "Yea, and that's for real too!"
In 1968 was transferred to Detroit. A postal strike was on and my working visa was delayed, so for the first month, I could only "attend meetings" and would fly in on Monday mornings about noon and then have to leave early on Fridays to catch a flight home. At the time, Harvey was playing for St. Louis, and the Detroit Tigers were in the World Series. There were also a lot of young college girls being killed around Ann Arbor. The names of one of the chief umpires in the World Series, as well as the sheriff of Washtenaw county, were on everyone's lips - "Doug Harvey". One Friday afternoon, as I was leaving, one of my co-workers said, "There goes the part time help". "Look", I replied, "when I have to play hockey, umpire your ball games, solve your murders and work here too, I have to spread myself thin!"
Another time, while on the road doing new model tooling follow up, one of my stops was a brass manufacturer in Saginaw, Michigan. The owner met me and asked, "Do you have as much fun with your name as I do?" Looking at his business card his name was James Thorpe. After talking for a while, he said the one that has the most fun was his son, also a Jim Thorpe, The younger lad was attending college at the time and when anyone asked if he was related to 'the Great Jim Thorpe", he would truthfully say, "Yep, he's my Dad!"
The funny part, I grew up in Windsor, Ontario where there was never enough cold weather to make a rink so most of my youth was spent on a basketball court. I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've had skates on and to this day, cannot ice skate.