Speaking Their Names

My parents named me Dana after two relatives they never knew – my father’s grandmother Dena who perished in czarist Russia,  and my mother’s uncle David who drowned as  a teenager in the Rockaways. I like my name and never minded that it’s a bit uncommon,  but it’s always disconcerting when  people spell it wrong or mispronounce it. And because Dana can be a masculine name as well,  I certainly wasn’t happy when as a high school senior I got mail from armed forces...

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