Saturday, January 28, 2012

Famous names who declined to be royally recognized

As a writer in the silver years of a career as a local columnist - the word "golden" seems so final - it would be nice to be recognized for my contribution to the literary world. Having retired from covering and reporting on all the local community happenings, somehow it's doubtful that readers will recall my pieces focusing on pot holes or lack of snow clearance and the like.

"Ah yes - those great pot hole stories in '98," someone might but not likely recall when discussing writers. "That Eleanor Tylbor sure knew how to cover those large holes in the road! And those wonderful rants about the lack of snow clearance were the best!"

In any case, there are famous writers who have been recognized for their literary accomplishments by none other than Queen Elizabeth, who bestows letters after their names in the way of recognition. These letters mean that their careers have been successful and they are known in their genre. Then there are others who for whatever reason have declined to accept the royal honor.

Contained in a official and formerlyt secret document, were the names of 250 people who declined the Queen's offer to honor their work. This leaves one - me - who wonder as to the reason for the big secrecy. For example and according to an article in Reuters, artist Lucien Freud, sculptor Henry Moore and author Roald Dahl it was "thanks-but-no-thanks" offer. Same thing for director Alfred Hitchcock but he accepted a knighthood eventually. One presumes that a knighthood is a step above three letters. I mean, go know as an ordinary person, which honor is higher. You have your O.B.E. and your C.B.E. and then your knighthood and the female equivalent, sisterhood... Checking further on Wiki, you also have your OBE, GBE, CH, OM...the list goes on. It's like an alphabet soup of honorary letters. But I digress.

Some other well-known public figures that fall into the "thanks-but-no-thanks"category are Francis Bacon, L.S. Lowry and Aldous Huxley.

It appears that the information was made public after numerous requests under the freedom of information laws. This leaves one - me - to ponder why people would want to know who rejected being honored but somebody obviously wanted to keep track of the "nays."

Ruminating further regarding the bestowing of honors, perhaps there should be special honors or mention for your ordinary but very necessary people whose jobs over a long period of time contribute to the well-being of society.

OTC- Outstand Trash Collector - bestowed to brave trash collectors who daring feats of bravery risked their lives hanging on the back of garbaage trucks, holding on to the rear of the truck with one gloved hand while balancing on one foot, and survived.

PDPA - Paper Delivery Person Award - honoring people who get up at the break of dawn to ensure that readers are kept abreast of the latest breaking news at their door steps

SCPPA - Shopping Cart Person Picker-upper award given to supermarket personnel whose job it is to gather and pick up all the shopping carts that are discarded anywhere and everywhere, including on car bumpers

WSPC - Waterspray Produce Creator award given to person who created the water spray that drops seemingly every two minutes inundating and soaking everthing and everybody standing within 3 feet of the produce display.

Any interesting additions to the above are welcome and will be added to the list.

When it's all said and done, my epitaph will be, "she lived - she wrote - she croaked."  Then again, I'm always open for a few letters.

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