We learned this week that one of my husband's high school friends has named his new daughter Mozelle. I like it, stop snorting. The child's mother, Laura, had stipulated that any successful name would contain a "Z" or an "X." Cool rules rule; I like the Z names, too.
But I'm fond of the name for another reason: Mozelle is my step-grandmother's name. No, I didn't turn Jason and Laura on to it; they thought they'd come up with an original. But the original is indeed my jitterbugging, red-shirting grandma. She turned seventy, now wears only red shirts. Good for her. She's half Cherokee, an Oklahoma half-breed. In fact, that was her CB handle in the late seventies: Half Breed.
Damned straight my grandma had a CB handle! The first time I met my husband's mother and brother, I spontaneously dropped that piece of info in conversation over a formal Thanksgiving dinner. Admitting that your grandma had a CB handle is one of those things that encourages a certain impression of you, and regrettably in my case it is not a very accurate impression. She had a CB handle not because she was a truck stop lounge lizard, but because her husband was the local fire chief (handle: Gas Pump) and she often answered the scanner calls, the scanner being in the living room and blaring 24 hours a day. Still, I think the Thanksgiving incident did initiate the concern and mefiance in my MIL that still characterizes her attitude toward my relationship with her son.
My brothers and I also had handles: Buck Skin, Red Bone and Junebug (edited: mine was BeetleBug, not Junebug. Little Sweet Juniper must be channeling me.) respectively, although performance anxiety dictated that I never touched the CB. These were the days of BJ and the Bear, Smokey and The Bandit, and Jerry Reed's Convoy. Having access to a CB radio made us the coolest . I was classe among the 4th grade set, I'm telling you. By the way, Jerry Reed, Tulsa's highway demographic does NOT include a "cloverleaf." But thanks for the mention, anyway. You and I are the reasons god made Oklahoma.
I'd be tempted to use the Half-Breed nickname for little Mozelle if she weren't, you know, white and white. I'm still not sure that'll ultimately stop me. And by the way, I'd like to pass along that my biological grandmothers are named Roberta and Waythena. Those are still up for the taking, if anyone's up to using them. I'm not.