Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What's in a Name?

This past week, at the Bluebonnet Kickoff Classic show, I was visiting with Sandy Osbourn (formerly Husfeld) and got to meet her beautiful little baby, Ruby, who is named after her grandmother.During this conversation, Suzanne Lindley informed Sandy and I of how important it was to name your child with a respectable - preferably Christian name - becase after all, you never hear of a lawyer named Shaniqua. (We both got a chuckle out of that lovely advice!)

Also recently the show cattle world the little angel Charlie Tusa into their family of friends, who is named after Charlie Wilson. Then most everyone knows that my little Mollie is named after my own grandmother, Mollie Williams, who was actually named after Mollie Hudgins, wife of J.D. Hudgins.

So I thought, this was a fitting time to also share a little bit about how I got MY own name, Rachel Ann.

If you look in this month's Texas Monthly (August issue), page 96, you'll be in the middle of their cover story called "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowgirls." A wonderful article depicting the importance of women in the Texas ranching industry. The author quotes Dale Evans as saying "'Cowgirl is an attitude. A pioneer spirit, a special American brand of courage. The cowgirl faces life head on, lives by her own lights, and makes no excuses."

Though I consider myself more of a cattlewoman, and not cowgirl, I loved the article and I know a whole heck of a lot of women who depict that fiery cowgirl attitude, though they probably never have rode a horse.

Rachel Ann Hudgins, my namesake
So, on page 96, about in the middle of the page, there is a few sentences that describe a pioneer woman that is very special to me.....Rachel Ann Northington Hudgins. The great lady I was named after. The story says:

"At one time, fifty of the Texas ranches in operation by the same family for more than one hundred years had been founded by women. Rachel Ann Northington Hudgins, for example, was the founding mother of five ranches in Wharton County. She purchased her first land in 1882, nine years after her husband died."

The ranch they are referring to is J.D. Hudgins, Inc. Rachel and her four sons established the ranch, and her son, Josiah Dawson (J.D.) took over the business after Rachel's husband Joel died in 1873. Rachel Hudgins was a small framed woman with a spirit as big as Texas, as they say.

My great uncle, James Forgason, always inspires me as he tells me stories about this great Texas lady. Nearly every Sunday morning after church, he gives me a hug and and always, every single time, he says...'Oh, you would make that little lady you were named after so proud!"

I know there is no way I could ever live up to that namesake, but it's true, knowing I'm named after someone so great gives me something to aspire to. It makes me feel like it is my responsibility to make that name proud. I bet that's how little Charlie Tusa is going to feel as well, when he hears all the stories of what a wonderful young man Charlie Wilson was. And hopefully, that is the same feeling I will be able to help give my daughter, Mollie, who's named after one of the greatest ladies I know.

So what's in a name? Oh it's hard to say, but, as Mrs. Lindley said...I bet I wouldn't be the hard working, Brahman cattle loving woman I am today if my parents had named me Shaniqua.

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