I was just looking over a list of the most popular boy baby names for this year. The name “Liam” tops the list. Hey, I’ve never even heard that one before. It’s followed by some I am familiar with: Ethan, Noah, Mason, Jacob and Jack. Those are some of the old, traditional biblical names. Looking on down the list, I see that the more familiar names of James, William, Matthew and Henry still rank up there.
I didn’t see my name of Winston anywhere in the top 50. I did find it in the list of favorite dog names. It seems that Winston is a popular name for bulldogs and bassett hounds. That probably comes from my namesake, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who had big jowls and a saggy face.
My name reveals my Baby Boomer origins. Churchill was a very popular leader from World War II, and it seemed only natural his name would be given to lots of babies by returning veterans. My middle name is Franklin, as in Franklin Roosevelt, the U.S. war president. I’m surprised Franklin wasn’t my first name since my parents were such staunch Democrats. Somehow the Brits won out in the naming process.
I never liked my name when I was a child because it seemed so different from my friends. They were the Bills, Joes, Johns, James, etc. Whoever heard of a little boy named Winston? The few kids I did run across who shared my first name often shortened it to Win or Winky. Not me. I remained Winston, although I once thought of using my middle name and being called Frankie.
As time went on, I learned to like my name better since it gave me something to counter the common last name of Jones. There might be a lot of John Joneses, Jim Joneses and Bill Joneses around, but it was very rare to find another Winston Jones.
All this concern with my name started anew a few days ago when someone sent me a Facebook posting about a new movie being filmed in Savannah. The title is “Killing Winston Jones.” I never thought I’d see my name in a movie title, but now that I have. I find it amusing. If only I lived in Savannah, I’d try to get a role as an extra in the casting. Then I could walk up to Richard Dreyfuss and tell him, “I’m the real Winston Jones.”
The closest I ever came to getting my name in a movie before was the lead character in “1984,” a British guy named Winston Smith, who lives in a totalitarian country ruled by “Big Brother.”
According to a story I read on the Internet, the Winston Jones movie is about two families who get in a bitter contest over whose name will go on the new high school gymnasium. Winston Jones (Dreyfuss) has a rival named Washington (Danny Glover). However, to get a building named for somebody, it seems that person has to be dead. Thus, the title. The story calls it a “dark, quirky comedy.”
Other stars in the movie include Danny Masterson and John Heder. At least since my name got stuck in a movie title, it does sound like a quality production, with good actors. No Grade B junk for me.
Filming of the movie began Nov. 26, and it’s due for release sometime around the middle of next year.
It should make for some good conversation when I pay for my movie ticket with a credit card bearing my name, or when I go purchase a copy at the video store.
I know this all sounds very vain, but it’s great for a person to see his own name in print. But how many people can say they have their name in a movie title? It doesn’t happen often.
Jones is a Carrollton resident and reporter for the Times-Georgian.