So I posted about the naming of Don Draper. (Mr. Weiner has not called to confirm my theory, but he will, I’m sure. Call me, k?)
Well within an hour of this revelation, (I kid you not, within an hour!) I get an email from our very own wisefish (whose comments were always inexplicably visiting our spam-catcher first before being rescued but now it’s finally better), talking about the possible origins of Dick Whitman’s name.
From her email to me:
Have you heard of the folk tale of Dick Whittington and His Cat?
My husband just started reading From Here to Eternity and read a reference to someone being … “a sort of Dick Whittington with a bandanna tied to a stick but no cat.”
Not being familiar with the Dick Whittington reference, he Googled it and found the folk tale I linked to above.
I would dare say that Matthew Weiner is familiar with Dick Whittington and His Cat. He sounds a lot like Dick Whitman/Don Draper!
Okay, that pretty much was her email to me.
So I check out the folk tale. Orphan boy (with a bandanna tied to a stick; I love it) eventually gets rich. Works for me.
I know that Weiner also spoke about how he’d always planned for this sort of Huck Finn (or Tom Sawyer?) thing, in reference to Don’s bringing Dick’s body back on the train. (or, Dick bringing Don’s body back.) I never read either of them, but I know that the kids attend their own funeral in Tom Sawyer, and then reveal that they are alive, and in Huck Finn he fakes his own murder in order to escape from his abusive father, and that has him head down the Mississippi. My guess is that it is the Huck scenario that Weiner alludes to. Anyone who actually read it, please feel free to chime in and help me out here.