Days Like These

26 June 1959

KEITH BASSO,

anthropologist, records in

his journal his visit to an

Indian reservation in Arizona:

"Everyone in Cibecue has an Apache name as well. These names are typically bestowed during early childhood, frequently in response to some memorable or humourous event.

"A good example is provided by Dan Tessay, a distinguished-looking man in his early sixties, whose Apache name means `Bushy Anus'. As a toddler, Dan was playing near his mother while she plucked feathers from a wild turkey. He stumbled, sat down hard on the feathers, and stood up with several of them clinging to his bare bottom. His grandfather ... was much amused and created Dan's name on the spot.

"Other Apaches, like Ernest Murphy, acquire names when they reach adulthood. A soldier in the Second World War, Ernest was wounded by shrapnel in Belgium. His left leg required a skin graft and the skin was taken from a non-Indian.

"The operation was a success and when Ernest returned to Cibecue he was given the name `Whiteman's leg'."

26 June 1952

BARBARA SKELTON,

writer, married to the literary

critic, Cyril Connolly, records

in her diary:

"My birthday. No adequate fuss made. Left to stew with the geese all day while Cyril has lunch with Jack Lambert. I lunch with Peter Quennell.

"Hottest day of the year. Peter carries an umbrella. We go to Wimbledon as I have been given tickets. Never sheds his trilby, complains of the heat, prods the crowds with his brolly and begs to leave every 15 minutes. I try to distract him by pointing out all the pretty girls: he pronounces them all as being `common', but takes a deep interest in the royal box, until he spots Mr Atlee in a deep sleep.

"Return to the country in the evening. Cyril and I not speaking."

Ian Irvine

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