Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Old names

 Yesterday I went out for a drive with the wife. The sun was shining so we grabbed the camera and off we went. We decided to take some back roads we haven't explored before. On one of those roads we spotted a little country church. The name on the church was simply, " Lockerman. "  Now Lockerman is also the name on our middle school  I wondered if the two were related in some fashion. I haven't looked in to that possibility as it was just a passing fancy. It isn't worth the investigation to me at this time. It did give me this thought. Lockerman must have been a family name of some prominence at one time in the county. I mean Lockerman middle school is the only middle school in Caroline county. That lead me to continue thinking of other names like that in Greensboro, were I live. Comegy was a very prominent family back in the day and today you don't hear that name at all. Jarman was another. I can't but wonder where the descendants of those families went. I wonder too, how it feels to go from prominence to insignificance. Never having been in a prominent position I suppose I will never know.
 I haven't done any research papers on this subject but it would make an interesting one for an upcoming sociologist. My first thoughts are, with a few notable exceptions, prominence only lasts a few generations. Those exceptions would be with the very wealthy. The first ones being known for the accumulation of that wealth and the succeeding generations for having inherited that fortune. I mean, think Rockefeller. That name is synonymous with wealth, same as Dupont. If you are either of those you enjoy prominence just by simple association. But I believe for the majority a few generations is as long as it lasts in a specific geographic area. I'm thinking about regional prominence.  It could be a town, county or even a state. Once you reach national prominence that is a different thing altogether.
 We have all heard about the old names and the old money. Old money is the best right ? Why, because the old money has deep roots and a great deal more influence. Of course, new money, if in sufficient quantities can displace that old money. It happens all the time. That is what could be studied, the why of that happening. Did the generations removed from that original prominence fail to understand the work it took to gain it in the first place ?  Do they begin to " ride the coattails " as it were ? Or do those generations move away from that area to establish their own niche independently ? Is it a failure of those succeeding generations to keep up ? Or does the name become so associated with the past, for good or bad, that change is inevitable ? People do want change even when there is nothing wrong with the way things are.
 I don't know but I have seen this everywhere I have lived. The largest Mausoleum in the Greensboro cemetery, and the only one, has the name of Jarman on it. It was built to house four individuals, only two are in residence. That mausoleum is the last vestige of that once extremely prominient family. Mr. C B Jarman brought the first telephone to Greensboro. He started the bank and had a number business interests in town. All history now. I'm quite certain Mr. Jarman never imagined such a thing. I wonder how he would feel about that. A name, a family of influence and importance, now all but forgotten. Their names are written in the dusty old books and official papers of the town. A few old timers will speak of them as they heard their parents speak of them. They say Mr. Clinton B Jarman was a vain man, hence the mausoleum. He demanded nothing but the best. That is all I have heard about him on a personal level. That he was a man of considerable wealth is without question. Several of his properties survive today in various states. I would say few know that unless you read the history of Greensboro.
 I do wonder if this " dying out " of prominence occurs because of living in the shade. The first family members to " make it " casting that shadow on succeeding generations. Then those generations either wind up paying for perceived injustices of that family, or moving away to escape that shadow. Just why are they displaced and relegated to history ? I wonder too if it is a frustration to those members of that family that remain. Is it a failure on their part to step out of the shadow ? Perhaps it is an impossibility to due that. Have they been disadvantage by perceived advantages ? Well, as I said it would make an interesting study for a sociology student.