We all have them, names. Some hate them, some love them, some change them during our lives on this Earth. I've always loved asking people why they were named or where it comes from. Growing up, I knew quickly I was named after my two grandfathers, Russel and Wayne, that passed away before I was ever even a twinkle in my parents' eyes.

Today is my Dad's birthday, and it reminded me of a story about his name. His name is David Earl Conrad. My Grandfather was a baptist minister and would preach at various churches in Vinton, Louisiana. As I got older, I asked my dad where the name David came from. He stuck out his chest and said "Well, your grandfather was a preacher, I am the baby of the siblings, and so I was named David after David and Goliath in the Bible." Well isn't that awesome? Kind of a neat story that he either made up in his younger years or was told. Little did we know, that was the furthest from the truth as it could be.

Fast forward to quite a few years later. The Conrad Family Reunion rolls around. We are sitting around and talking about names, and their origins in the family. My Aunt pipes up and asks my dad about his. She didn't remember where the name came from. So once again, the old man sticks his chest out and tells the story about how he is named David from David and Goliath.

My Uncle Wayne is the oldest brother of the group. He has a giant deep voice that I would kill for, and I imagine it to be what my grandfather would have sounded like. He starts to smirk as Dad tells the legendary story. When Conrad men know you're wrong, they just let you keep talking, but release a very smart ass chuckle as you do. As Dad finishes, I turn to Uncle Wayne and ask him what's so funny.

"Cute story Dave," he says. Then proceeds to tell the real story. My Uncle Wayne and father share the same birthday, August 30, but 10 years apart. They were not a wealthy family growing up, and with a baby on the way, a party was not really in the cards for Uncle Wayne. As his birthday present, my grandmother gave my dad to my uncle and let him name my father. My dad's eyes began to get bigger as Uncle Wayne continued his revelation. My Uncle, being 10, could only think of one name that would be perfect for his new baby brother. David Earl. This name didn't come out of thin air. It was the name of my uncles best friend at the time.

Always remember, names can be changed, but the stories behind them are what makes them more special. Later on, I found out that the reason I am Russel Wayne and not Wayne Russel is because my grandfather, Russel, had all girls and always wanted a grandson from one of those girls. I was the first Grandson born on that side of the family, so he got the rights to it. I used to hate my name growing up, now, I wear that name proudly.

Wayne Conrad