December 17, 2008

Chevy Chase

We moved to the haven that is Chevy Chase six weeks ago, and since then most of the space here has been taken up by the ladies of the house. It dawns on me that many of you may not know why the town we now live in was named after the man who portrayed Clark W. Griswold and the Landshark to such fame in the 70’s and 80’s. Truth be told, despite knowing that our town came first, I wasn’t sure if the actor was born here or not. I will tell you more about the connection between the two later. For now, let’s delve a bit further into Chevy Chase, the municipality. Or, as I like to call it, Chevauchee Chace.

I believe the linked document will pretty much explain it all to you. However, if I must, I will continue on afterwards with more facts, history, and miscellany. Oh, and just so you know, I wouldn’t normally call in a consulting arborist, but the one that we keep on staff has been out on disability since we moved.

Okay, let’s move on, sort of. Chevy Chase takes its trees very seriously. Our yard would actually be a great one for the arborist to come see. Every neighbor I have met has asked if I would continue the policy of allowing them to come and suburban forage our fig tree. I haven’t said yes or no yet, because I’m told it’s a rare yellow fig tree, and that the fruit it bares are quite tasty. I may want them all to myself. We also have a Catalpa tree, or what I think is a Catalpa tree, and two of the most magnificent spruce trees that you have ever seen.

Now we can actually move on. Chevy Chase was formed in the 1890’s and derives its name from—Bum Ba Da Dah—its “historic associations to a 1388 battle between Lord Percy of England and Earl Douglas of Scotland. At issue in this "chevauchee" (a Scottish word describing a border raid) were hunting grounds or a "chace" in the Cheviot Hills of Northumberland and Otterburn.” Of course.

Mystery solved. Well, half the mystery solved. What of this man who derived his name from our town? It turns out that Cornelius Crane Chase, the son of prominent New Yorkers, was nicknamed “Chevy” by is grandmother who got the name from the medieval English Ballad of Chevy Chase. Naturally, the ballad drew its name from the same battle in the Cheviot Hills that bestowed its noble name on the residents of our Maryland town.

One last note on Chevy Chase. We have the greatest freaking listserv ever created. Since our arrival, we have used it to obtain a free futon—a clean, free futon—freecycle our refurbished vacuum and four bags of rotting mulch, and to donate a kidney. We could have anyway…if you go through the trouble of registering, check out post number 63240. Now that is an active community.

Many thanks to Chevy Chase dot Org and the Cheviot Hills of Northumberland and Otterburn for information on this post.
Many, many thanks to the person who invented the word freecycle. It’s not exactly a term they used in Louisiana, so I really like to use it whenever possible.


Blogger Dani said...

Um... urban foraging and freecycling... why don't you go out and buy some pachouli scented shampoo you damn hippie.

December 18, 2008 at 3:51 AM  

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