The Significance of Being Named Kurt

My family did not overtly celebrate any sort of German heritage. I’m not even sure what my family heritage actually is. When I asked my family about my family tree for a school project, they seemed pretty clueless. My grandfather on my father’s side had some theory about how we were Pennsylvania Dutch, and our original surname was Gristman, and we were all millers or something. As far as I know, this theory has no basis in fact.

My sister did do one of those through-the-mail DNA thingies, which was a 40/40 German/English split and 20% of other stuff.

At any rate, my parents and uncles and whatnot on my mother’s side seemed to have a bit of a German fetish. They all studied German in high school and college. My parents watched Soccer Made in Germany on PBS in the 70s and 80s.

And I ended up with the name Kurt. Auf Deutsch spelling. Not Curt or Curtis or anything like that. And as a result, I developed a bit of a German fetish. Rooting for the Deutschland World Cup soccer team. Studying German myself as my language elective.

But I must be more English. I’d take an imperial stout or porter over a German pilsner or lager every day. And I play rugby for fuck’s sake.