If there was one thing I could always count on growing up, it was the fact that I would be the only Biddinger in my class, and in my school, most likely. As a kid I was somewhat lukewarm about my name. Nobody could say it right. It was long. It inspired nicknames like "biddy." But once I got to college I decided that I loved it. When I got married I kept it. When I moved to Ohio, I knew I wouldn't be the only one any more. This is Biddinger country.
Around here they spell it with one d and sometimes pronounce it differently: bid-in-jur instead of bidding-ur. Last week our new family medicine doc was surprised to see that we weren't established patients--there are lots of Bid(d)ingers that go to the practice. I made an appointment for Gabi's 4 year birthday photos; how funny, the only other people with an appointment that day were also Biddingers. And who could forget Bidinger's Ice Cream in Wadsworth, Ohio?
In less than two weeks, my folks will be moving to Akron from Chicago, thus increasing Ohio's Biddinger population by two. For those of you who don't have uncommon names, this must seem like a strange thing to contemplate. But for me it's quite bizarre and rather intriguing. As far as I know, I am the only Biddinger poet. That's a title I would like to keep.