Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Letter F

The letter for today is F.  So, it's the perfect time to write a little about the word Fabian.

No, not the singer from the 50's.  Do any of you remember him?   But instead Fabian, as in my married last name.  It's interesting - I just reached the point not too long ago where I have had it as my last name longer than my maiden name. 

And, it's a bit interesting because my hubby was not born with the name.  He was adopted by his step-father at age 2 and got the last name that way.   His step-father, Jesse Fabian, of Charleston, SC was a "man about town" in the 1950's.  He owned and ran one of the largest liquor stores in all the area. It used to be on Meeting Street, in downtown Charleston. And, Jesse was very involved in local and state politics, which at the time was very Democratic.  He even attended the National Convention in Miami one year as a South Carolina representative. 

I never got to meet the man. Let's just say there were family issues, and some illegal doings in the back of the liquor store way before I met my hubby.  I don't want to focus on that.

But one thing the Fabian name is known for, thanks to Jesse, is the bright red dots you see outside a liquor store.  The story goes that in the 50's Jesse was trying to come up with a way to advertise and let people know he sold liquor.   At the same time Lucky Strike cigarettes were popular - and so was smoking!   He took the red dot idea right off the Lucky Strike package... and painted 3 red dots on the front of his business.

Shortly, around South Carolina other liquor store owners started putting red dots on their buildings too.  The idea spread. 

Today when you drive around the state you still see the red dots, especially in rural areas.  The red dots came to be known as a symbol for a place that sold liquor.   In time it has become a symbol in other states too - 3 red dots in a row. Some state liquor stores display them. 

I'd like to say the Fabian name started the red dot craze, now used for Target stores, but that would be stretching it a bit.  ha!

So today, the letter F is for my family's last name - and their little claim to fame!

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