On Sharing My Name With a Famous Literary Character
More often than not, when I introduce myself to someone, I get this response:
“Oh, like Ramona Quimby?!”
Well…yes… like her, but not after her.
I was named after The Ramones, who on their 1977 album Rocket to Russia, recorded a song called Ramona. I’ve adored Beverly Cleary all my life, but I have to admit The Ramones are a bit more bad ass, and this story of my name’s origin suits me well!
Having my name in common with Ramona Quimby drew me to these books as a child. Discovering there was not one, but multiple books with a character who shared my name was fascinating at a young age, when I’d not yet encountered another person named Ramona. To this day, I still have only met a few.
Ramona Q was the first literary character I connected with. I have her to thank for a lifetime of being comfortable with a unique name.
While my name is unusual, thanks for these books, it’s not unheard of. Rarely does someone have trouble pronouncing it (spelling it, however, is an entirely different matter…) I never mind being compared to her. I’ve been called Ramona the Brave and Ramona the Pest, I’ve even been called Ramona Quimby, and I’ll answer to all of them (I even considered the first as a roller derby name!)
I related to Ramona Q in many ways. While she had an older sister and I am an only child, I understood her desire for her parents’ love and attention, and her good intentions that didn’t necessarily always go as she hoped. I spent many a weekend morning propped up in bed reading these books, laughing out loud at Ramona’s silliness. In this other Ramona, I found a kindred spirit.
Of course, I love collecting Ramona books, as well as others I read as a kid. I pick up copies when I find them cheap, sometimes passing them on to friends’ kids. I always keep my eye out for unique additions like this copy, found at my local Goodwill, published in 1968.
Have you ever encountered a literary character who shared your name? Who was it and how did you feel about that person?