A family-owned daily newspaper serving Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming since 1949

On my favorite birthday, I got an important job

May 4, 2012 - By Carolyn B. Tyler

Seventy years ago today was my best birthday ever.

Five days before my seventh birthday, my baby sister (and only sibling) was born.

I was ...

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Seventy years ago today was my best birthday ever. Five days before my seventh birthday, my baby sister (and only sibling) was born. I was given the responsibility of naming her. You know her today as Linda. I wanted to name her Mary. But expert manipulators that they were, my parents convinced me that I wanted to name her Linda. Linda always tells people I wanted a horse for my birthday, but instead I got her. I disagree. Had that been the case, I would have wanted to name her "Mare-e." I chose "Mary." Well, as I say, I wanted to choose "Mary," but I was somehow convinced that "Linda" was my choice. Linda's birth launched my writing career. She was born early on a Wednesday morning, and I excitedly announced the news to my first-grade classmates that day. The teacher saw a teaching opportunity. So, as a class assignment, we wrote a group story. I can quote it, word for word, today --"Guess what Carolyn Ann has. Carolyn Ann has a new baby sister. Her name is Linda Sue. Her hair is as black as Fritz's. We think Fritz will bark when he sees her." To explain a few things: 1. There were two Carolyns in my class, so I was "Carolyn Ann," while the other was "Carolyn Jean." 2. The "B" you see in my byline above reflects my maiden name of "Butler." 3. Fritz was my dog, a black cocker spaniel, so already I was writing about my pet dogs. Some things never change. And finally, 4. My sister was a scant four hours old by the time we wrote that story and, obviously I had already been convinced to name her "Linda" instead of "Mary." I've always been a sucker for suggestive imprinting. Otherwise, you'd be acquainted today with Mary Sue Becker.

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