The name’s the same


I love names. Really do. And I love stories. So, when I have a chance to write a good story about names, I go for it. That happened years ago when I was editing a Zionsville weekly and, as such, did everything from selling ads to sports writing.

I was wearing the sports writing hat when I noticed an unusual name. Some kid who made the paper week after week was named Brian Bryan. Every time I typed his name, I said to myself, “There’s a story here.”

I called his parents, Dick and Carol Bryan, and asked them how they came to choose the name Brian for a son whose last name is Bryan. The answer was simple. A young man named Tony Tony was a groomsman at their wedding. They told him that if ever they had a son they would name him Brian Bryan after Tony Tony.

As for Brian Bryan today, he is now an FBI agent, just as his father was years ago.

That story came to mind when I met Lance Lantz, the Zionsville Superintendent of the Street and Stormwater Dept.

”There’s a story here,” I said to Lance, who teased that it would cost me a six-pack to hear it. I said “please” and he reconsidered. No dollars or alcohol were exchanged as he shared his tale.

It is the stuff of novels. Lance’s mother’s first love was a man whose last name was Lantz. As fate had it, she married a different man, had a son and named him Lance. The marriage did not last. She then married her original love, Mr. Lantz, who adopted the little boy, making him Lance Lantz.

“It’s interesting, in that very few people ever forget it,” says Lance of his double name.