days of naze
|the end of the beginning
A little audio gift (85 kb .wav)
for my Faithful readers on
the first anniversary (7/14/99) of
the site. Hand cranked to help
you on the long march.
An obnoxiously large
(101k .wav) audio greeting
from the Author.
|April 21, 2000
I Am Naze
Nothing wrong with that. A good Danish name. It's the name my father was born with, but it's not mine.
I am Naze. It is my children's name and if Fate smiles it will be the name of my descendants one hundred generations and beyond.
My genetic paternal grandfather left my grandmother (my other grandmother, not Grandma Eades) in the lurch. In time she met a good man, Raymond Naze, who cared for her and her baby boy who he raised as his own.
After Dad graduated from the eighth grade, Grandpa Naze asked him if he wanted to take his name. They went to the courthouse, where the judge took Dad to a room by himself to certify that he was doing it of his own free will. He walked out Walter Jerome Naze. There was no question about it. Raymond Naze was the only father he had every known and he loved him.
Flash forward 15 years. Mom and Dad have two happy, healthy daughters and child number three is on the way. Grandpa making no secret of the fact that he really, really wants a boy to carry on the name.
And then Tuesday 9 a.m., April 21, 1964 at the old St. Vincent Hospital in northwest Portland, I made my appearance. And he was really, really happy.
And this is my Grandpa Naze's first great gift to me. I didn't get a chance to know him, he died of a heart attack shortly after this picture was taken.
I've had some time to contemplate his second gift to me, this wonderful, unusual, compact name.
It's Belgian. I'm still learning about Naze ancestry, but the first Nazes came to America from Grande-Lyees, Belgium around 1780. I believe they started out in Philadelphia but like many northern Europeans, moved westward. There aren't many of us but the greatest concentration of Nazes are in South Dakota and Iowa. I don't know of any others in the West except for my immediate clan.
As I mentioned in entry #2, World War II took it's toll on Grandpa Naze. He had a good business selling fuel to farmers in the Willamette Valley. Sometimes he would bring Dad (who would have been about 6 -- my eldest son's age) along on his route. Grandpa got along well with the many Japanese farmers in the area and they were some of his best customers.
On December 7 (ironically, my Grandma Naze's birthday), the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor killing hundreds and laying waste to a sizeable chunk of the American Navy in the Pacific. Tragically, thousands of good Japanese-American citizens were rounded up, their property seized, and forced into internment camps. They lost everything. Suffering the loss of his business does not compare, but it was suffering nonetheless.
Anti-Germany sentiment was also at a fever pitch. Grandpa Naze had spelled his name Nazè all his life and pronounced it nah-ZAY, but having been burned once he couldn't risk the chance that someone might twist his family name into the moniker of the upstart Fascist bastards. The accent never made another appearance and the pronunciation was Americanized to NAYZ.
This still makes me angry. Not so much because of the ties of authenticity to ancestry, although those are important, but because he lost a part of his identity, a part of who he was, through a sort of societal extortion stemming from a terrible coincidence.
It turns out that the name Naze is sprinkled lightly about the globe.
Although we share no genetics, I was very pleased to learn of Grandpa Naze's Japanese connections. I've mentioned my fascination with Japanese culture (i.e. shiatsu, sushi/sashimi, tea ceremony, history) before. My favorite Naze Internet discovery is that in Japanese, "naze" means "how" or "why" (either one, depending on context). That's why on some search engines like Altavista you get about a million matches on naze -- they're all Japanese "how to" or "why this thing is" sites.
I seriously doubt Grandpa ever knew this, but I bet he'd get a big kick out it.
On top of that, there's an actual city on a tiny Japanese island far south of the southernmost main Japanese island of Kyushu called, you guessed it, Naze.
I wonder if I'd get like, free sushi if I just showed up there one day...
On the other side of the planet, on another island nation sits the tiny English beach side community of Walton-on-the-Naze. In fact, I originally had hoped to get naze.com, but some folks presumably from the town snapped it up first. (Sadly, they don't seem to be making very good use of it. Network Solutions shows that their claim to the domain expires this summer. I don't think I could bare to do that to them. The naze.net alliteration has grown on me and may be the better choice anyway.)
Craig visited Walton-on-the-Naze a couple years back and sent me a postcard. It's a cute little beach lined with those little shack things that remind me of ice-fishing houses where people can change into their bathing suits. There is a site that one of the locals runs that has a nice brief history of the area.
This structure was of considerable interest.
1721 - The Naze Tower was built by Trinity House as a landmark for mariners. It still stands and stills serves its original purpose. During the early years of the 20th Century, radio masts were erected atop the structure in attempts at long-range transmission.
I can almost picture myself at the top there, lording it over the peasants below. It almost has a Pisa thing going for it, doesn't it? The nearby cliffside is eroding at an alarming rate. They're trying to raise funds to preserve it.
Across the Channel we have more high rent Naze real estate.
Behold the Chateau de Naze! Anybody out there with a spare 7 million francs?
No nearby school and no pool, but hey, nice moat!
Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, we have Naze the X-Man!
I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined sharing my name with a mentor of an X-Man, but we do seem to share the "nifty talent".
Last but not least, I would be remiss in not pointing out the obvious abundant rhyming and wordplay opportunities as a small compensation for the Americanization of Naze. Phase, daze, gaze, rays, pays, laze, of course, days and about a million rhymes lent themselves to easier slogans for student body campaigns, friendly teasing, and naming of web sites. To this very day, Dad insists that they seriously considered naming my younger sister Mayo.
Grandpa Naze, thank you for the smile, the welcome arms and for this name that I call my own. Today, on my birthday, I christen this site, naze.net, in your honor.
christopher raymond naze
p.s. For those of you not on the new days notification list, the unlikely has occurred: two actual entries within a three day span. Click the "last" link below to find out how well April has been treating me. Welcome to new subscribers Ghada and Laura.
p.p.s. Advance apologies, especially to new Readers. I've taken the opportunity in the transition to the new domain to change some of the directory structures. It's turning out to be a bigger task than I originally thought. That coupled with the strain of my current fearsome updating pace means that it's going to be a week or so before all of the links and images line up. I think I've got Stupid working pretty well. (Yes, I know, that figures.) Phew!
|previously on days of naze :
i am naze
what have you done for me lately? ta-da!
|May you never be more active
when you are doing nothing.
They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
-Carl W. Buehner
|in the feedbag:
web: I went through my Altavista stage and my HotBot stage, but I love everything about Google -- it's open source structure, the trust that comes with that, the fact that it easily dwarfs it's competition's hits to this site, and that invariably I get excellent results from it.
web: I hear it has serious ties to the evil Microsoft empire, but I love Launch.com. Look for a link soon to the days of naze station. Plenty of This Mortal Coil, Violent Femmes, Queen, XTC, and John Prine.
PC: My step-mom and Dad sent me Star Wars Force Commander today for my b-day. I am exercising supreme control and not opening the package until after I have uploaded tonight's entry and notified.
PC: I gave myself DSL for a present. I've heard lots of good things from DSL customers. I'll let you know how US West does. They're shooting for May 9... WOOHOO!
|something very clever will go here soon|
© christopher naze