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Jason Harmon: My name and meaning to me

Wesley, a historical middle name. Memories of Grandpa's song, "Me and lil Jaybob went a-hunting." The tragic drowning in the Blue Hole on Snake Creek. The Fateful Sneeze. Big Wes. Irvin Wesley Bryant. Ervin Wesley Harmon.
With photograph

By Jason "Jaybob" Harmon

I always tried to listen carefully when my grandparents would begin a story by saying, "Well, Jaybob don't take this as the gospel . . ."

Papaw always called me "Mr. Jaybob," and I really miss hearing him say it when I would walk through the door at his house. He never called any of us grandkids by our real names. He made up nifty songs to go with our names. My song was always, "me and lil' Jaybob went a' huntin'. Jaybob fell down and smelt sumthin'.

I also have a historical middle name, Wesley. It has a long tradition in our family. You might would think it comes from Wesley Burton that I sent you pictures of. Nope. My middle name is the same as my dad's and grandpa's. Grandpa got the middle name Wesley from two of his great Uncles, John Wesley Burton and Irvin Wesley Bryant.

John Wesley Burton. We always called him Big Wes. Big Wes was indeed a large man. He is remembered by driving around Columbia and constantly being involved in traffic accidents. The accident that ended his driving career was when he sneezed and wrecked the car resulting in a broken nose. From then on, he was chauffered around town by family members.

Irvin Wesley Bryant was my grandpa's other namesake. Grandpa Toad Harmon gave my grandpa his name after his Uncle Irvin, but he dropped the "I" and changed it to an "E." Ervin Wesley Harmon. His namesake Irvin Wesley Bryant met a tragic end just three years before his namesake's birth. Mr. Bryant drowned in Blue Hole at the tender age of 23. His father, Charles Bryant also died while fishing in the same area, but at a different time.

So since 1890, Wesley has bestowed on members of my family.

I'd give anything to hear papaw belt out his "Jaybob" tune one more time.

Ahhh, memories.

This story was posted on 2006-11-23 04:24:51
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Jason Harmon collection: A part of our Bryant heritage

2006-11-23 - Burton Ridge, Adair County, KY - Photo Photo from Jason Harmon archives.
A small part of our Bryant heritage. The happy couple is Charles Washington Bryant and Mary Ellen Burton Bryant. The children are Irvin Wesley Bryant and Dorinda Bryant. Charles and son were both victims of drowning possibly in Snake Creek. Irvin was married to Bessie Burton. Dorinda Bryant grew to adulthood and wasmarried to John Right Burton.

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