The Ubiquitous Mikes

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For all of the ubiquitous Mikes in the world. 11:59 AM 4/21/2013 Here is an article for all of the many men and boys named Michael in the world. About a year ago I heard a little snippet on the radio about the name Michael and I have taken its message to heart and had some pleasure in retelling the story. It turns out that for many years the most common boy name for babies in America has been Michael. I start out asking the particular Michael I am talking to if he knew that. Invariably the Mikes of the world know this -- I have never found one that did know this fact and it is hard for them to hide their pride in being number one. I then inform them that things have changed and that in the last year or two the name Michael has been knocked out of first place. The smile on Mike's face leaves as I ask him if knows what the number one name for baby boys now is. Oddly enough they never know of the new second-place position of their name and they don't know the new number one name. Starting to enjoy the experience, I inform them that Jacob is the new number one -- and as the puzzlement fills Mike's face -- I continue the torture by telling him that he knows why it is now Jacob. I inform them that it is because of the most famous series of chick-flick movies in the last few years -- the 'Twilight' series. At this point there is never an argument as they realize what has happened to the old number one name. I sometimes go on and point out that I know why my name is 'Craig' and tell them that my mother named myself and my three brothers after movie and tv stars -- mine is from the star of the series 'Peter Gunn' starring Craig Stevens. If I wish to twist the knife I point out that you have to wonder what these women are thinking about at critical moments in life -- they clearly were thinking of a celebrity when they named the new boy and you have to wonder what they are thinking in more intimate moments. I never knew of even one person named 'Craig' until I was 22 and moved to Utah where the name is so common that I was one of four Craigs when I worked at Abbott. Check out and the histogram statistics on each name -- mine showed the greatest spike in the late 1950s about 10 years after I was named -- the spike did correspond to the popularity of 'Peter Gunn'. If my mother was telling the truth she must have known him from his movies as was the case with my brothers.

Idd Projecting popular baby names for 2012
Baby Names - 2012

Click to Enlarge Idd's Projection

Pic 1
Idd Projecting the most popular baby names for 2012 from SSA.
    Idd has some websites illustrating the popularity of the name -- Michael -- and some info on the name Craig. Idd does not agree with the idea that Michael was the most popular name ever as the ubiquitous Mikes believe -- he says the name peaked around 1969 and was number one for many years but not for the last ten years -- Michael fell out of the top 5 in 2011. The Twilight Series movies started showing in 2008 -- the book was released in 2005.
    popular baby names graph at
    If you move the mouse into the interactive graph and go down about 2/3 -- a thick blue vein shows up for Michael. If you are dexterous you can travel left or right in this vein and see that the name Michael was #1 for many years -- but probably not in the last ten years. It looks like John was #1 from the 1880's to about 1940. Jacob has a very thin vein but shows up as #1 since about 2006. There is a box you can type in a name and see just that vein -- check the radio button for girl's names to look at the popular names. Mary was #1 from 1880 until 1960 or so.

    Michael maintained about 40 per thousand from 1950 to 1990

    Craig maintained about 4 per thousand from 1959 to 1970.

    The theme song from Peter Gunn
    Henry Mancini - Peter Gunn

    A TV episode from the Peter Gunn series
    Peter Gunn - The Fuse 27 min Original Air Date: January 5, 1959 Season 1, Episode 16

    Oops -- that link no longer works. For all YouTube links I have to state that the web addresses sometimes change when someone figures out they are losing ad revenue. In that case -- there will be a new link (now with a commercial) and the old link will give you that frowny face. Just type the info I gave about the original video (Peter Gunn -- The Fuse) into the YouTube search box and it should show up (now as the Official one). Here is the new one:

    A TV episode from the Peter Gunn series
    Peter Gunn - The Fuse (Official)) 27 min
    Original Air Date: January 5, 1959
    Season 1, Episode 16
    cdm--A pretty high quality video for something from 1959 -- the show was produced by Blake Edwards
    I love all of the old cars. I am thinking of taking Craig Steven's line 'I'm nobody's man' and making a wave file to place on the start up of all my articles -- what do you think?

    On the Social Security Website (click on the picture Idd is Projecting) you can type in any year and find out the top 20 names for that year.

All kidding aside -- I know more Mikes and Michaels than any other name. My favorite cousin when I was living in the Chicago area until I was twelve was Michael Moormann. My father had two brothers and he is the second son of Barney Moormann -- my father's oldest brother. He is the author of the eulogy for his father that I quoted in my little online eulogy for my father a couple of years ago. One summer he spent a month in the summer at our home while my brother Bruce was sent to live with my uncle Barney's family. Oddly enough I have never heard from any of my Illinois cousins since we left for California when I was twelve. I have a son named Michael and a stepson with that name. When the internet got going strong I started searching for some of my cousins and old friends and I find that they seem to be off the grid -- and worse than than they don't seem to be looking for me because I am on the internet and there is no contact. One of my best friends from the 1970s -- 'Reb' (name withheld) -- was someone I figured for having an internet presence but when I went looking for him I found some people-search results that showed his relationship to his first wife and second wife. Unfortunately it also showed his second wife remarried and no further information on him. I had to assume he was dead. When I went on facebook a year or so ago I looked there for him and found someone with his name in the Denver area. The public info on his page stated that he went to Glendora High and the graduation date was right for my friend. I sent a message asking if he was the man I knew years ago and got no response -- which would not have been expected if it really was him. But it fit in with him not looking for me if this was not the real 'Reb'. I had to wonder if someone had stolen his identity.

My best friend for several years before I moved to California was a boy named Mike Phillips. And later in the marine corps I had at least six friends over the years named Mike. Mike Davis was in Camp LeJeune with me and when we got orders to the West Pacific he rode with me in my 1965 Mustang back to California. He lived in Dansville in the San Francisco area and on the way back we dropped one friend -- a Dan -- in Colorado and we both went on a detour down to Pleasant Grove Utah to visit my penpal girlfriend who was staying the summer there with her uncle. She had a friend with her from Covina California -- where we both lived -- and I took her to a carnival in American Fork. The girlfriend was Mike's date. We did not stay long and continued on to Dansville to drop off Mike and I drove alone to my home in Covina. After we both got out of active duty -- Mike came down to visit me but I was at work and my parents did not give him my work number or take a number from him. Another friend named Mike DeYoung was with me in Okinawa and he lived somewhere in LA and also came out to see me with the same results -- you can't pick your parents. I was in boot camp when the first draft lottery came out and they did not even bother to check the newspapers to see how high my number was. I was about to get drafted if I did not keep up my student deferrment but it was getting difficult with going to college full time, working full time, and dating full time. My girlfriend at the time encouraged me to enlist and it was later when I came home on leave and found her distant and unavailable that I found out her reasons. When I went to boot camp she pursued a 25 year old guy named Marty -- who was married. She could not tell me because he was a family friend and she was living with her separated mother -- who was also pursuing the guy. He looked like Elvis Presley and had a hot car - a Torino with a 428 cubic inch engine. She was only 16 and soon got pregnant from the guy -- they ran off to Texas and eventually got married then later divorced. Oddly enough I knew of one cousin of this girlfriend named Mike Boquito (sp) and I ran into him in Jacksonville NC when I was stationed at Camp LeJeune. He was about 16 at the time and was an usher at an X-rated movie theater there -- I did not go to any of the movies there -- just bars. Before my 16 year old girfriend left me high and dry she gave my address to one of her girlfriends -- the one I went to see about 7 months later in Utah. I had met this girl before at my girlfriends home (my duplicitous girlfriend had a pool and she was there one day for a pool party). They were friends from high school as well as a set of blonde twins -- one of which was at the Pleasant Grove venue. I eventually married her but after 15 years and six kids she divorced me on principle -- we both grew up in the same suburb of LA but somehow after several years she decided she was going to have a horse ranch. She would not work after about 5 years and thought it was my duty to work a couple of jobs to give her the dream ranch. After working 2 and 3 jobs for years -- I had finally caught up on the bills and was uninterested in going back to multiple jobs. Apparently I made my position clear and she decided to get a divorce after I had made enough money to support her with child support. I delayed the final date for the divorce but the entire time of this waiting period she had a 10 by 7 inch picture next to her bed of one of my work friends -- an installation engineer for some equipment Abbott purchased from his company. We had gone to visit him in Phoenix about 6 months before she started the divorce. Why he gave her the picture is unknown to me -- but guess who he resembled -- yep -- Elvis. I never knew what they talked about but about a month or two after the divorce he married a blonde girl with only 2 kids and a career -- go figure. After the divorce I was invited to his wedding (on Valentine's Day) and went down with my kids and coicidentally made it to the exact spot in Arizona where the 'Hands Across America' line was forming out in the desert. She was an aspiring actress and it was only after she started the divorce that she told me that she had just been using me for the last few years and that she was not getting what she wanted from life -- from me (of course she told the kids something else).

To get back to the lottery number -- I would have liked to know how high my number was at the time even though it was too late. The lottery pretty much ended a lot of the anti-war protesting since anyone who got a high enough number to avoid the draft was somehow uninterested in the protests. 1970 was the first year and the highest number of draftees -- it dropped off severely after that year. It was years later that I found a book on the lottery and websites devoted to it and finally answered my questions. My number was fairly high -- about 270 or so -- which was still low enough to get drafted in 1970 if I had just dropped out of school. But all future years had much lower call ups and the way the system worked -- my number became the current year number if I lost the deferrment and for all subsequent years I would have been safe. Of course this is one of the main reasons the anti-war movement slowed down -- guys who knew they were safe from the draft with a high number were less interested in the cause.

I knew a few more Mikes in the marine corps and my first wife decided to name my third son Michael and my present wife named our son Steven. In both cases I told them that I had cousins with that same name -- first and last -- but they did not care. You have to wonder where the idea came from -- in the case of my Steven -- that was the name of his mother's gynecologist. I had problems with my mother on those names as she did not think it was right to confuse her with the names already taken. My current employment issues started with a possible job for me that would have avoided the layoff list I was on -- but it went to a Mike. After years of bouncing around trying to get another similar paying job I eventually ended up in security. One of my fish customers -- Mike McCoy -- had been working for Securitas and recommended that I try working for them. My fish friend who has been figuring out how to breed the african clawed frogs is another Mike -- Mike Ching.

The Ubiquitous Mikes also show up in some of the Ancient Mariner articles I have written that have personal details that need to be brought out but may cause problems for the story teller if the names are not changed. The couple I have about my son and his mother are really stories related to me by one of my marine friends named Mike. I have interlaced names and dates and my own storylines to bring out the story but to allow the 'Mike' to maintain 'plausibility' in the case one of the characters in the story is questioned. If a grandchild says to Mike is this about my grandmother or Mike's son -- he can state that it is clearly about his friend's family not his -- plausible deniability -- but anyone old enough to handle and know the truth may infer that it is really about Mike's family. If I am asked if it is about someone in my family I can also point out that it is about Mike -- not me. Call it literary licence but I needed to be able to tell Mike's interesting personal stories -- you can't make some of this stuff up and they are definitely instructional.

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