Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The source of my “nom de plume” goes back several decades.

First, the Granger part comes from where I have resided for the last 10+ years.

The very first time I was referred to as Commander was in the summer of 1949 when I was appointed the Company Commander of the 7th Naval Company at the Culver Summer Naval School. I can remember clearly just how proud I was with that designation and also because it made my Father almost burst his buttons. My Dad had also attended Culver as a teen and was a Cadet Lieutenant in the Culver Black Horse Troop and a member of the famous life saving Corps of Cadets during the devastating Logansport floods back in 1913. Additionally, my Dad was designated as Aide to Culver’s Superintendent when Indiana’s own Thomas R. Marshall was inaugurated Vice President in Washington, D.C. in 1913, which was Culver’s Black Horse Troop’s earliest appearance in the Presidential Inauguration Parade, but I digress.

The second time I was referred to as Commander goes way back, too. If memory serves me correctly it was sometime around 1970 when I was the Vice-President/Sales Manager of a Chicago television advertising representative firm. I had hired a young man from Milwaukee as a new sales representative. For the sake of his privacy, let’s call him Graham.

Graham turned out to be, at best, a satisfactory salesman, but was never what I considered a hot-shot. To my total amazement he was highly regarded by our clients and the advertising agencies he called upon. I could never figure out just why everyone loved Graham, because he was totally disorganized, and was a nightmare in his dress. Sometimes he would arrive with a black jacket and brown pants, and when I questioned him his response would be, “Ohhh Ha. I’ll be darned Commander”. Rarely did Graham’s socks match. His hair was always messed, but the young ladies loved him. He lived in Chicago’s fashionable Rush Street neighborhood, and was a frequent visitor of the night spots along that legendary avenue.

One day Graham arrived at our morning sales meeting with a brown suit, white shirt and tie, but a big “S” was showing through his white shirt. He had on a Superman t-shirt under his dress shirt. Upon bringing this to his attention he said, “Thanks, Commander” and drifted on about his day. Times were good in our business with Graham and the company thriving.

After two years, much to my surprise Graham resigned telling me that it was time for him to move on. Within a short period of time he became the sales manager of an independent television station in Buffalo, NY, followed by general manager posts in major markets, and later a Programming Vice-President for Tribune Broadcasting in Chicago. Our paths crossed frequently in Chicago, and Graham always seemed to be walking around in a fog. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that he ever used drugs, but he surely was in his own unique world. Every time we met over many years, he always gave me a big “Hello, Commander”, so that’s how I chose my blog moniker.

I have lost track of Graham over the years, but when I decided to establish a nom de plume for my new blog his reference came to mind. Incidentally, my dear wife and editor has called me by many names, but never Commander.


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