Saturday, March 27, 2010

Gunlauger Kristjansson

Your surmise about Icelandic given names is correct.  One sees few of the classic ones in North America these days although I think they are making a fledgling recovery among a few brave fourth and fifth generation parents.  In fact, I think Karen and I may, in some small way, be responsible.  We acquired an Icelandic dog in the early 80's whom we named Gunlauger Kristjansson.  Everyone loved him because he was so enthusiastic.  He chased birds in flight and even airplanes with an unwavering belief that he would catch them.  He also had, as you put it, an "operatic" voice.  That was an unwelcome characteristic to our neighbors on Dominion Street.  Our vet assured us that the minor operation to de-bark him would surely solve the problem and Gunlauger would never even be cognizant of the difference.  He was unaware of the enthusiasm factor.  Three months later Gunni was again serenading the neighborhood.  The unprecedented second minor surgical adjustment to his vocal chords was performed by our vet with iron-clad guarantees.  Three months later the arias commenced.  His story became an inspration!  When we moved to Victoria in 1986, Gunlauger moved on to a home in Chicago.  We have since heard reports that the name Gunlaugur is starting to show up in the birth announcement columns in the Winnipeg Free Press and the Chicago dailies.  Now we're thinking of getting another pet.  Perhaps we should name it "Skarphethinn".  Kind of catchy, don't you think?
P.S. If the railway yard thing isn't working, you could mention that Neil Young grew up in River Heights and started his musical career there.

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