Son of Sam Shepard

The great American playwright (and actor and poet and short story writer) Sam Shepard was born Samuel Shepard Rogers, a name he shares with his father. And in Shepard Jr.’s excellent 1982 collection of poems, stories, and reflections entitled Motel Chronicles he writes about, among many other things, how he and his father came to possess their names.




Here’s an excerpt written on May 2, 1980 (each entry in the book is dated):

My name came down through seven generations of men with the same name each naming the first son the same name as the father then the mothers nicknaming the sons so as not to confuse them with the fathers when hearing their names called in the open air while working side by side in the waist-high wheat.

The sons came to believe their names were the nicknames they heard floating across these fields and answered to these names building ideas of who they were around the sound never dreaming their real legal name was lying in wait for them written on some paper in Chicago and that name would be the name they’d prefix with “Mr.” and that name would be the name they’d die with.

And now it’s your turn: today’s prompt is to begin to write a piece about where your (or a character’s) name came from.

As an added restriction try writing your piece like the above excerpt without any commas.