What’s in a name?

(Originally posted April, 2007)

“Men hang out their signs indicative of the respective trades; shoemakers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but up in the Mountains of New Hampshire that there He makes men.”
— Daniel Webster

Most people correctly assume that my blog name is a tribute of sorts to The Profile, better known as the Old Man of the Mountains.

The Old Man, of course, was the rock formation on the ledge of Cannon Mountain that looked like a face. It made Franconia Notch the destination for countless New England field trips and family vacations.

The blog name was a natural, as the Old Man and I share many attributes:

Old Man: Born in NH. (Discovered in 1805)
Fat Man: Born in NH. (1966)

The Old Man

Old Man: Fine New Hampshire granite, carved by powerful glaciers over thousands of years.
Fat Man: Pale and balding, shaped over the decades by takeout Chinese, long afternoons on the couch, late-night trips to Karl’s Lunch Truck and Ipswich Ale.

Old Man: One of the most photographed and videotaped views in New England, if not the United States; has shown up on the state quarter, the state license plate and countless paper-thin, quick-to-shrink gift shop T-shirts.
Fat Man: Once caught by NESN cameras at a Red Sox game missing out on a chance to catch a foul ball because he had a beer in both hands.

Old Man: Inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write the short story “The Great Stone Face.”
Fat Man: Forced to read “The Scarlet Letter” in high school.

The Fat Man (on Avalon)

The Fat Man


Old Man:
Collapsed under its own weight in 2003, tumbling down the side of a mountain.
Fat Man: Stay tuned.

(Old Man photo copyright robdebsgreen on Flickr)

One Response to What’s in a name?

  1. Janice says:

    Welcome David! We are good friends of your aunt and uncle (Jackie and Paul) and enjoy your column. Keep up the good work.

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