Three Nelsons

by Jay Nordlinger

In yesterday’s installment of my “Oslo Journal,” I mentioned a distinguished Venezuelan journalist, Nelson Bocaranda. “Were you named after Lord Nelson?” I asked him. “No,” he answered. “Nelson Eddy. My mother was a fan of his.” Yeah, well, whose mother wasn’t?

I recounted this story to a few guys in my building this morning. One of them is a Puerto Rican-born man whose first name is Nelson. I’ve known him for years, but never asked him the origin of his name. “Were you named for Nelson Eddy?” I said this morning. “No,” he answered: “Nelson Rockefeller.”

In today’s installment of the “Oslo Journal,” I spend a few paragraphs on an interesting, and at times sore, subject: Nelson Mandela. I’ve just done a little checking into his first name. Lord Nelson? Well, it’s hard to say. On his first day of school, his teacher, a Miss Mdingane, gave him the English name Nelson to answer to.

And so it has been . . .

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