“It was 1945, and on the steps of the North Elementary School (now the site of the Lodoen Center) in West Fargo, I asked this new girl, ‘What’s your name?’
“She replied, ‘My name is Patty Ann Smith.’
“I looked at her and said, ‘No it’s not! That’s MY name!’
“That’s the beginning of the story of two fouth graders who shared the same name.”
So writes one of those Patty Ann Smiths, who now is Pat Samson, West Fargo.
“For the next eight years,” she writes “Neighbors,” “we thoroughly enjoyed confusing our teachers, especially when we were told to sit at our desks in alphabetical order and sign the new student roster.
“We always decided ahead of time if we would be Pat Smith, Patty Smith or Patricia Ann Smith. This always caused much confusion for the new teachers.
“Finally, all of the teachers gave each of us a name, she (the other girl) being Patty Smith (Blonde) and I being Patty Smith (Dark).
“The year of our graduation, 1953, really caused some problems. There was only one graduation announcement for Patricia Smith, one graduation ring and one graduation program. And the high school yearbook had only one Patricia Ann Smith in it. Apparently all the suppliers thought two Patricia Ann Smiths had to be a typing error.
“The school administrators did get it all fixed in time for us to graduate.”
Confusion at the Crystal
“After graduation, both of us really enjoyed dancing, and we loved going to the Crystal Ballroom in Fargo.
“There again we enjoyed many a laugh when I was asked to dance, and my partner would ask, ‘What’s your name?’ I would say, ‘Pat Smith,’ and the fellow would say, ‘Yeah, right…’
“Then he would ask my friend her name and she would tell him the same thing.
“We both went on to make our homes in West Fargo. Blonde Pat Smith married Irvin ‘Punchy’ Nelson and Dark Pat Smith married H.D. ‘Duke’ Samson.
“Both of our husbands worked at the stockyards; Irvin was a cattle buyer for Central Livestock and Duke worked for the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association. Both are now deceased.
“But both of us Pats remain great friends and we enjoy telling our crazy story to anyone who will listen.”
“Neighbors” is listening, Pat and Pat. Thanks for telling us your crazy story.
If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.