What’s In A Name?

My name is Michael Joe Harvell and I can’t think of a better name for myself.

One of my favorite country music singers is Johnny Cash and one of my favorite songs he sings is “A Boy Named Sue!” It’s a song all about a fatherless young man, whose father had named him Sue just before the father decided to disappear out of his life and into nowhere. The boy grew up hard, was made fun of, because of his name and had to get tough to survive. One day, he was sitting in a bar and met his Dad, the man who named him Sue. A fight ensued and son got the best of his Dad. The Dad said: “Before you kill me, let me tell you why I named you Sue!” “It was because I knew life was hard and tough and you were going to have to be to, if you were going to survive.”

Some times I wonder is the name making me or am I making the name and most days, I figure, it is probaby a little bit of both???

So let me share with you the story of how I got the name Michael Joe Harvell: I was born May 9, 1968. My parents could not agree on a name for me. My biological Dad wanted to name me: Ralph Maxwell Hiott III after himself and his Dad. My Mom wanted to name me Harry James Hiott; Harry after her favorite uncle and James after her Father. Neither would agree with the other on the name, so one day my biological Dad came to her with the idea of naming me “Michael Joe Hiott”, Michael after him, everyone called him Mike (I have no idea why?) And Joe after her, because her name was Martha Jo. So that became my name and a few years later, after a divorce, My Mom would remarry and the man she married would choose to adopt me, become my Dad and my last name would change to Harvell.

I have always felt I fit my name and my name fits me. I sometimes think that had I been named Ralph Maxwell Hiott III, I probably would have been a book worm, bratty and entitled. Had I been named Harry James Hiott, then I probably would have become a drugged up musician, looking for my next gig. Instead I was named Michael Joe and I really do feel like it’s who I am…

Michael in the Hebrew language means “One Who Is Like The Lord” and Joe in the American Dictionary means “An Average American”. I’ve always said this combination of names is my testimony in a nutshell: I am an average american, who is trying to be like the Lord…

So, I have enjoyed growing into being Michael Joe Harvell and have been blessed with a pretty amazing life, which I’m still living, learning and loving everyday…