That Discovery Guy

                                     … Whatever His Name Was
                                                     By Jeff Salter 

            It happens I have THREE connections to this ‘holiday’ of Columbus Day.  But let me begin by thanking Jillian Chantal for listing the variant names of our holiday buddy:  Cristoforo Columbo and Cristobal Colón.
            Now, to my connections.
            1.  As a person with some blood from both the Choctaw and Seminole nations, I think a few of my ancestors would view Monday as an observance of “Invasion Day” rather than celebrating the first non-Viking European to set foot on soil or sand after traversing the Atlantic Ocean.
            2.  My big brother was born on Columbus Day and, had my mother known the timing (at that time) of her first child, she swears she would have named him Chris.  But she didn’t.

Santa Maria

            3.  I have a long-time friend – since grad school days – who was later a work colleague for about a quarter century.  He was born in Puerto Rico and his last name is Colón.  After doing some genealogy research in the 1980s, he told me he was a descendent of Cristobal Colón.
            “Who’s that?”  I naively replied.
            “He’s the guy …”
            “Which guy?”
            “The discovery guy …”
            “A program host on the Discovery Channel?”
            “No, the guy who discovered America.  You probably know him as Columbus.”
            “You mean the 1492 guy?” 

            As you can tell, I was occasionally slow on the uptake in the 1980s. 

            And, as you may have guessed:  I made up this dialog.

            Actually, my friend Mr. Colón wrote a poem about being in the ancestral line of the explorer by that same name.  I don’t know how conclusively he researched the genealogy, but I’ve always been satisfied that he’s a direct descendant.
            If I can get him to read this column, perhaps he will comment one way or the other.

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About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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26 Responses to That Discovery Guy

  1. Tonya Kappes says:

    You know so many people, Jeff! My kids had school. I was a little shocked because I was always off on Columbus Day. No longer! I sang, all day, IN FOURTEEN-HUNDRED AND NINETY-TWO COLUMBUS SAILED THE OCEAN BLUE!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      It’s never been a holiday observed by anybody I worked for, so I’ve always thought of it only as my brother’s birthday. But of course, I’ve also been very aware of the merchandising and advertising (I worked briefly in ads) that jumps on such holidays as an excuse to separate consumers from their money. Ha.
      That line of the ‘song’ doesn’t sound the same when you substitute one of the other names. LOL

      Like

  2. Micki Gibson says:

    Your connection #1 reminds me of that post that’s been going around on Facebook. You know, the one about celebrating Columbus Day by walking into someone else’s house and announcing you live there now? By the way, I loved your made-up dialogue, but I’m not so sure it sounds “guy” enough. (Tee hee. I know how much you love that comment.)

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      LOL, Micki. I’ve actually heard conversations like that … where the word ‘guy’ is used 14 times in six sentences.
      But, on the serious side, it’s a terrible blot on American history what was done to the native populations over a period of some 500-600 years. I still think we have the greatest nation on earth, but what a shame that the indigenous population had to pay the brunt of that cost.

      Like

  3. LOL! I love it. I have a friend that married a guy with the last name Colon- and he says the same thing. Small world (meant that pun!) and how did you get the tilde or whatever it is to show up? You’ve surpassed me on skills, man.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Well, Jillian, I never knew MS Word even had a tilde until my friend with that name began using it in his work correspondence. While we were still on Word Perfect — and the office program which preceded it (maybe it was Display Write … not sure) — he used to draw the tilde with his pen. But MS Word has all the international symbols and alphabets.

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      • Well, I hate word, Jeffrey- Thus, I use W. Perfect and have to convert everything to Word for editors. I’ve never had luck with Word. We seem to butt heads as I don’t like it doing my thinking for me.

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      • jeff7salter says:

        I greatly preferred Word Perfect also. But I’ve had to adapt to MS Word … but I still grumble. It has features which drive me batty and I don’t know how to neutralize or disable them.

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  4. I asked my husband if he had the day off work and he laughed. (He has to work Christmas Eve … Columbus Day doesn’t have a prayer). He did offer to stay home until someone called him to say “WTF?” but seeing as how he runs the shop that someone would likely have been the man who signs the paychecks. (<<Amusing, but not good. Not good at all. LOL).

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Yes, I can see where he would clearly be missed if he tried to sneak in an observance of that holiday.
      As for payroll. I can recall 2 or 3 times when the payroll lady and I — and a route driver — had to make our way to the office to get the checks out on days when the library and all its branches were closed because of snow. The checks must go out!

      Like

  5. Like the post, Jeff! Love the way you work information into conversation, especially making it all ‘guy’-ish! lol

    Sad how our government jummps to rescue others from genocide when it was practiced in our early history. I’d offer apologies, but a few of my and my Hubby’s ancestors were probably right there alongside yours.

    Please be sure and tell your brother Happy Birthday from me! (And no fingers in the icing until he cuts the first piece!)

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Runere, one of my favorite movie scenes is from a Clint Eastwood film — I think it was Josey Wales — which has a full-blooded Native American in a prominent role. It was so refreshing to have him speak clearly, intelligently, and express deep philosophical thoughts (along with some subtle humor). That was a dimension of “Indians” I had never seen before on the screen. Prior to that, most of the Indians talked like Tonto … or just ‘whooped’ as they were raiding and scalping.

      Like

  6. Chris Bailey says:

    Invasion Day. What a concept!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      I’ve tried to examine the European takeover of N. America in similar terms to what I learned about the history of Great Britain.
      For example: the Norman Conquest in 1066 had lasting socio-economic, political, geographic (and even religious) implications.
      I’m pretty sure the French students ‘learn’ it as a successful & legitimate — & properly rationalized — military conquest of a rather uncivilized people across the channel.
      From what I’ve studied about British history, it was an invasion by unprincipled, greedy and brutal foreigners.

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  7. jbrayweber says:

    I’m of American Indian descendant, too, Jeff. Can’t remember which tribe, though I’m pretty sure it was either Choctaw or Cherokee. One of those from Florida. Hey, maybe we could do a rain dance together. We here in Texas are suffering from a drought and sure could use some rain. Or a tropical disturbance. Whichever, we’re not picky at this point. LOL.
    Happy (several days late) Columbus Day.

    Jenn!

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Well, Jenn. I understand there has been some bad blood between Choctaw and Cherokee. Not sure why, but supposedly they don’t get along. At least they didn’t. Maybe we can make amends, in case you’re on the other side of that feud. Ha.

      Y’all STILL don’t have any rain? I thought I’d heard that some weather went through TX recently.

      Like

  8. Lois Grant says:

    Here in the Northeast where there are lots of Italians, Portuguese and other people fairly fresh off the boat from Europe, Columbus Day is very much celebrated. Now they didn’t have a parade in this area, but I understand New York City does a large Columbus Day Parade. I personally think that the Vikings were the first to discover North America and I think that many historians are leaning that way also. So….. I am waiting for an Eric the Red Holiday!

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Yes, I believe the Viking parties reached Newfoundland and possibly New England shores as early as about 1100, some 400 yrs before Columbus. But only traces of their presence survived, apparently.
      In my whole life, I’ve never been in a place which had a Columbus Day parade. Hmm.

      Like

  9. Neutralizing the batty Word features sounds like a good subject for a dissertation- Let’s collaborate and send it to Mr. Gates for him to fix it like we want it- OK?

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Ha. Great idea, Jillian. We can start by debugging my version. Everytime I time the word ‘home’, MS Word automatically replaces/expands it into the word ‘home office’. I’ve never been able to figure out why. If I’m not paying attention, that extra word ‘office’ can stay in a manuscript for several drafts.

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Thanks, Juliette. And thanks for visiting today. Come back any time … expecially on Thursdays when I blather on about various and sundry. During the rest of the weekdays, the Resident Foxes hold court.

      Like

  10. Carlos Colon says:

    I am the grad school classmate of Jeff. For most of my life, I was told that my family was somehow related to Christopher Columbus. Perhaps about five years ago, my father told me we were probably related more to Diego Colón, his brother. (Christopher also had a son named Diego.) Are you confused yet? I know I am. Both of my parents were native Puerto Ricans. I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana.
    Carlos Colón”

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    • jeff7salter says:

      You were born in Shreveport? I could have sworn you told me you were native to Puerto Rico. Oh well. The brain fades quickly.
      Thanks for weighing-in, Carlos. I wanted the good folks here to know I didn’t make you up. Or your ancestry.
      Even though I did manufacture the dialog.
      It was a poem that you wrote about this which first brought it to my attention, wasn’t it?

      Like

      • Carlos Colon says:

        Jeff, I wrote the poem around 1991, so probably it was much earlier that I told you about the connection, possibly even in grad school.

        Carlos

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      • jeff7salter says:

        Could be, Carlos. Though my brain constructs a sense of surprise at the time of reading your poem. If you told me previously, I likely forgot it. Along with everything about cataloging and gov. docs. Ha.

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