Fwd: Stable Hand Theory : "Big" Apple and Jump Jim Crow

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Sun Jan 19 20:35:07 UTC 2003

Below my signoff is a response I received today from Dr. Cassidy. In
a follow-up note he asked only that this response, if shared, be
presented in its entirety; that request is of course complied with.

Gerald Cohen

From: DanCas1 at aol.com
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 12:49:44 EST
Subject:  Stable Hand Theory : "Big" Apple and Jump Jim Crow
To: gcohen at umr.edu

Dear Doctor Cohen:

Thank you very much for your time and attention. I look forward to
discussing "The Apple" with you in the future. My 3-4 days on the ADS
list has certainly been instructive.

As a kid in NYC back in the 50s-60s, we referred to NYC as The Apple.
Not the Big Apple. That came later, with the PR push and the Ad
campaign for tourists in the 1970s.

Either way, Dr. Cohen, we both agree that there is an Irish American
element to the name "The (Big) Apple."

As I said in my personal note to you, the Stable Hand Theory of Big
Apple's etymology is just a retelling of Thomas Dartmouth (Daddy)
Rice's world famous Stable Hand tale of how he discovered the song
and dance, "Jump Jim Crow."

Only Daddy Rice's African-American stablehand was from Cincinnati, or
Louisville, (depending on who Rice was talking to...) rather than New
Orleans. Though, perhaps, Daddy Rice's stablehand was the grandfather
of Fitzgerald's stable hand?

I opt for a moniker whose very words (A/th and Be/al) mirror the
ancient naming patterns of Gaelic Ireland and Scotland in a language
spoken by millions of immigrants to The Americas -- over a period of
five centuries - Irish and Scottish Gaelic.

So, at the end of the day, we both agree that the term "The (Big)
Apple" arises from the mouths and imaginations of the common folk and
is popularized by people of the Gaelic Diaspora in America. You like
the stable hand story, I prefer two words in Irish that describe
NYC's ancient gestalt as a key crossroad of the old New World.

Peace agus Beannachtai/,

Daniel Cassidy

The Irish Studies Program
An Leann Eireannach
New College of California
777 Valencia Street
San Francisco, 94131

415-437-3402, ext. 427
fax: 415-285-5947
irishstudies at newcollege.edu

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