NORMA and EDDIE choose the name “ELVA” for their new daughter. Elva Green. This was of course a few years ago. Well, more than a few. I got the idea for this post because Kanye and Kim are trending on twitter because of their newest child’s name. I like to show my blog’s younger readers that famous couples have been trending in the news for years. Readers of today’s news have come up with all sorts of reasons K and K chose the name that they did for their child. And this reminded me that most of my life I have wondered how my father chose my name. Despite the fact that my name contains only 4 letters, people have mispronounced it always. Evelyn, Eva, Elvis, Alva, Elba. When I was a kid, the other kids called me Greenie stickum caps (I think some of you older folks might remember those).
When my father was still alive, mom would put me in our Buick and drive me to see the street sign that read Elva Ave. It was located in Compton, California. I remembered looking at the sign out of the passenger window. So I thought I was named after that street for a long while. As an adult I wondered why that name was chosen for a street in Compton. In my lifetime I have met less than ten women named Elva. And none of them were Black. There were a lot of Black people in Compton when I was a child. I researched a bit and discovered Elva has roots in Scandinavia-I think it means “running brook”. Compton was named after a settler who travelled from Pittsylvania, Va., where Scot and Irish had settled.
Then I learned there was a village in Italy called Elva. I don’t know that Eddie had ever gone to Italy, but my mom’s father was Italian, so maybe Eddie got the name from my maternal grandfather, Joe. I never heard my mother mention that Eddie had ever met her Italian father because there were family “issues” and Joe was not “around”. Anyhow, they are all gone now. But maybe I’m named after a village in Italy.
Or maybe my name is from the French “elle va” meaning “She Goes”. If I ever get the money I fully intend to go to the South of France. Eddie actually took my mom to Paris. Or maybe Eddie thought of me as an Elf. In the Irish language Elva means Elfin. Eddie did appear on stage once in a one-man play called “Tam O’Shanter” by Scottish poet Robert Burns. And once I did win a St. Patrick’s Day writing contest.
Well, here is the announcement in the newspaper about me and my name and my proud daddy. And my mom, the former Norma Amato. The name my father gave me has taken me around the world. I am proud of my name as I am sure Kim and Kanye’s daughter will be of her name.
Hey, thanks, for stopping by. KCB
Check out my book Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer. Found on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, Book Soup and Walmart.