The Name of the Game

By Jim Hagarty

There was a little thing going around on Facebook asking users what we would say if we had a chance to talk to our younger selves. What advice would we offer that young whippersnapper who grew into the old guy we are today?

I can think of many things I might say but the most important piece of wisdom I would offer young Jim would be career-related. I would tell my younger self to legally change his name to Gordon. Why my parents never had the good sense to do that in the first place, I don’t know, but for someone destined for a working life putting himself before the public through artistic and entertainment endeavours, Gordon is the only and best name for any Canadian boy.

All the greats are named Gordon. Gordon Howe, greatest hockey player ever, Gordon Lightfoot, greatest folk musician the country has ever produced, and Gordon Pinsent, one of the finest actors anywhere. Also Gordon Downey, lead singer of The Tragically Hip. And I grew up watching a crabby old journalist/broadcaster named Gordon Sinclair, a character if there ever was one, and a guy I almost ran over one day as I nervously chartered the insane Yonge Street in downtown Toronto. As I managed to screech to a halt just in time, he turned, inches from the hood of my car, and gave me a look I imagine only a Gordon could give.

Seems to me, the given name Gordon is almost a ticket to success in Canada.

Instead, Jim. What am I supposed to do with that? Even the proper form for it, James, hasn’t got the same Gordian touch.

There has never been a Gordon in my family going back hundreds of years. I think this explains the mediocrity of our contributions to the world of sports and entertainment. There is no Stanley Cup, Grammy or Oscar on my mantle.

A Gordon Hagarty is long overdue.

Author: Jim Hagarty

I am a 65-year-old retired journalist, busy recovering from a lifelong career as an unretired journalist. This year marks a half century of my scratching out little fables about life. My interests include genealogy, humour and music. I live in a little blue shack in Canada and spend most of my time trying to stay out of trouble. I am not that good at it. I also spent years teaching journalism. Poor state of journalism today: My fault. I have a family I don't deserve, a dog that adores me, and two cars the junk yard refuses to accept. My prized possessions include my old guitar and a razor my Dad gave me when I was 14 and which I still use when I bother to shave. Oh, and my great-great-grandfather's blackthorn stick he brought from Ireland in the 1850s. I have only one opinion but it is a good one: People take too many showers.

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