By Andy Whorehall
The Hyphen. Your father thought I was gonna carry his name forever but the moment we made a break for Rockford, I said, ‘Stu, now’s the time to add the hyphen. Where we’re goin, they’re not the consonant loving cultural kind.
– Theresa Arbisi-Grobnik
Doug’s family ended up in N. IL in the late 70s after his father, Stuart, found work at the now deceased milling plant, Ingersoll. It worked out nicely since Theresa had family here to ease a Chicago to Rockford transition. A move that proved to be culturally, financially, emotionally & physically draining for the better part of their life.
About 5 years in, we saw the red flagged-financial storms coming. Your father’s job became a tight wire walk for survival for the better part of the next 2 decades til it’s final layoff & sell-off. Stu said to me a few times in 1982 through 83, ‘if we move again we do it now.’ In hind sight, we should have. We always tell Douggie & his sister, you find that place and we’ll follow. In hind sight, every one using their mathematical minds would have exiled communities like Rockford, IL in the 1980s. Tied by emotions brought on by family and friends, Stu & Theresa opted to settle the anchor in Rockford, opting for emotions over logic. Emotions used for mathematical decisions requiring logic, (what does your heart tell you?) rarely leads to positive, logical outcomes. Ever.
Except for that one time Doug’s mother used her family brain over her family’s heart.
Doug’s ma, was never a big fan of the ‘Grobnik’ name or consonant ending, and at some point before the move, made a change of her own. Your father thought I was gonna carry his name forever but the moment we made a break for Rockford, I said, ‘Stu, now’s the time to add the hyphen. Where we’re goin, they’re not the consonant loving cultural kind. They love their vowels, pasta, and church on Sunday. You’ll see.’ Hence the hyphen—and long before it became a modern-day womens rights fad. So many problems out there today. I’m better off in the kitchen.
The hyphen. Theresa’s gift to young Doug, 1 of 2 Arbisi-Grobnik kids.
Drunkenly, our friend Douggie orders another black and tan with a shot of Jamison from the orange skinned bartender & segways from Irish Fuhrer stories into ‘The Hyphen.’ Women got their jobs and their hyphens. Let’s see how future generations like it cause I sure as hell find every reason to NOT abbreviate my f*cking last name!” Doug’s not a big fan of the hyphened approach on last names. Says, It’s for idiots & elitists. Imagine the grammar issues future generations will be facing with multiple last names piling up & additional hyphens. Sounds like no one used a little thinking trick called, ‘foreshadowing.’ Morons.
Douglass Arthur Arbisi-Grobnik, 2 shots of Jamison, 2 black and tans.
Look at that Shuffleboard plaque over there, you can’t even read my name it’s so f*cking long. Idiots.
Hyphens & foreshadowing. I hope you’re in for the long haul.