Where the P in “P David” comes from

This is the second installment of the name saga…

Fast forward from Grade 1 to my sophomore year in high school. 16th birthday coming up in April of 1957. In the 1950s, turning 16 is a triple witching hour of sorts—have to get a driver’s license, register for Social Security, AND register for Selective Service (the draft for those of you born after 1980). What to do about the name. I’m David in the rest of my life, but my legal name is Paul. Then I got to thinking about the authors I had encountered in my English classes up to that point–among them such luminaries as F. Scott Fitzgerald, W. Somerset Maugham, and L. Frank Baum (not to mention B. Learned Hand and A. Neville Chamberlain). So I said to myself, if they can be F. Scott, W. Somerset, and L. Frank, why can’t I be P. David. So when I applied for each of these bureaucratic markers of identity, I entered P. David. And that’s the way it’s been ever since. Two exceptions—until 2014, when they changed the rules, my passport had to say Paul David (but in 2014, I was able to change it to P David), and my mortgage still reads Paul David.


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