A boy named Elizabeth


At 3 p.m. on May 26, 1982, a baby was born to an Elizabethtown couple. It was their third child, and it came into the world weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and measured 22 inches.

The couple, who already had two sons, had spent weeks focusing on girls names — finally settling on Elizabeth, a name that is biblical in that it was the name of John the Baptist’s mother. It is also a Greek name that, in Hebrew, means either oath of God, or God is satisfaction.

It could not have been a prouder or more connected to God moment for that Elizabthtown couple.

Except Elizabeth — all set to be groomed as mom’s mini-me and daddy’s little girl — arrived as a boy.

And so, with his first breath in the world, Elizabeth became Allen — originally a Celtic name that meant harmony, stone, or noble. It also meant fair, handsome and was originally a saint’s name.

But regardless of the etymology of his name, Allen would carry the yoke of his pre-birth naming well into his life — and his golden, curly locks of hair helped to perpetuate the notion that the young child was, in fact, an adorable little girl. At one point, the couple was told they must be proud of their two boys and daughter.

Of course, that prompted an urging from the father to the mother for a session with the shears. And with that, the curly locks were snipped … falling to the floor with a soft thud that carried with them any remnants of the name Elizabeth.

Or so they thought.

From that day forth, the family was without question represented by mom, dad, and three sons. Except the fun was just starting, since the two older boys never forgot that their baby brother was supposed to be a sister by the name of Elizabeth. And whenever these big brothers wanted to get under the skin of their younger sibling, they would take great pleasure in calling “Elizzzzzzzzz-ahhhh-beth!”

But now, more than 30 years later, the couple’s sons are grown and successful. In fact, they all work together in the family’s well-known and highly respected business. In many ways it’s a storybook waiting to be written.

Still, Elizabeth will never be far from the memories of the couple, the lips of the older brothers or the even the pages of the Bladen Journal. To see whom I have been writing about, look closely at Page 5A today.

W. Curt Vincent cane be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

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