Some of My Best Friends are Smith

January 8th, 2006 by Larry Smith

Or at least 4500 members of the media are.

For the record, I don’t plan to milk this “Smith” name thing forever. Sure, it’s named after me, but, you know, not really—it’s named after the 3 million people in America named Smith (at last count). Luckily, at least 4500 of them work in the media. With that in mind, last week I BCCB’ed (blind card copy blasted) them all with the header: “From one Smith…” and announcing that January 6 was National Smith Day and here comes SMITH magazine and isn’t it all newsworthy? The return was approximately 100 replies, most of whom got a huge kick out of the whole thing and a big bunch who checked out the site and liked what they read. There were a few “Is this a joke” messages (reply: I am real. National Smith Day is Real. is real), a handful of radio and print interviews (which makes me an expert on …. Smith), and a couple of confused and/or annoyed Smiths. Those are always the most fun.

Rosemary Smith writes, ” I don’t get it. You have a magazine called Smith that isn’t about people named Smith. It is about my neighbor who isn’t a Smith but who is a Krouse. Why is Smith about ‘our power to tell our stories in our own way.’ There are many people in my family named Smith but I somehow do not think of them as ‘amazingly cool and weirdly wonderful.’ So I am glad you are not interested in them even tho they are Smiths but then your magazine isn’t about Smiths at all but about other people probably named Jones.” Rosemary should probably get a beer with Brian Smith who says I had him at Smith, then lost him soon after. “I’ll subscribe when the magazine REALLY is about ME.” Big Bri, we’re working on it.

And then there was a note from Larry Smith of Sulphur Springs TX, just saying hello and wondering how many Larry Smiths there are. My response: a) good question, LS; b) whoa, it’s actually sort of trippy to see your own name in an incoming email address; c) interview him for our “Same Name” feature we want to kick off.

And so I ask: Do you have the same name as someone? Track ‘em down (it’s never been easier) and ask 10 questions. Talk to each other. Swap JPEGS and create the world’s smallest community (like My Space for 2). Tell us about it.