CHACE LIKE IN QUAHOG page 4
The dilemma I was having on the football field continued. The day of the first football game, I played listed in the program as a "Chase." I did for most the season. The Gardner News and Worcester Telegram were in cahootss too. There was only a guy name "Chase" playing for the Gardner Wildcats.
Fortunately, when you pronounce "Chace" or "Chase" they sound the same. However, when people read the name "Chace", they frequently refer to it as "Chance." I was the only "Chace" in the officers lineal list in the Marine Corps. One time while serving in the Marine Corps, an officer calling the roll kept hollering for "Chakee." I finally figured out it was me: then I got chewed out for not answering up faster. It's nothing short of amazing what the second "c" will do to pronunciation.
Is there any wonder how happy I am to return to Swansea for a summer vacation? One day I had to go to a doctor's office on Route 6 for a "coumadin" check. When I went in the nurse asked me for my name and when I said, "Frank Chace," without hesitation she wrote it down as if she had known me all my life. I didn't know her and she didn't know me, but what a pleasant surprise for me. I did find out she graduated from Case High.
I cannot tell you the number of times, far from Swwansea, when asked for my name I would spell it out "C-H-A-C-E" to prevent confusion. Even as I spoke, I would watch that person write down "C-H-A-S-E."
"Why did you do that?"
"Why did I do what?"
"Why did you spell my name with a "S" when I told you it was spelled with a "c?"
But that is how "Chase" is spelled would be the reply in a tone that inferred I was the village idiot
In Swansea and Bristol County my name is easily known as is the clam called "quahog." But just as the name "Chace," one does not have to stray very far from Bristol County wherein the "Quahog" loses its identity. Try asking for the "quahog chowder" in Dallas, or anywhere else where people want you to say, "I parked my car in Harvard yard." For another laugh, ask them to spell "quahog." Should they persist in wanting an explanation, tell them: The Quahog is classified in the phylum Mollusca, of the class Pelecypoda, which is an order of the Eulamellibranchia, a family of the Venergae. This probably will end the conversation.
I now live in West Palm Beach, Florida, a large city in Florida, where there are four "Chace" families and forty-nine "Chases." It is evident that the "Chaces" are slowly invading the South.
A saving grace is the weekly delivery in West Palm Beach of the newspaper called the "Spectator" a paper for residents of Bristol County. Seldom is there an issue which does not mention a "Chace." There is always an article about the "Chace Street School." There is never a misspelling of a "Chace" in the obituary column. My family has a "Chace" scholarship for a deserving graduate of Case High.
It is not without reason that I would choose to have my funeral in Christ Church as my Dad did several years ago. It was there I was christened, participated as an acolyte, was the sexton during WWII, and was married. There would be nothing for me to worry about being buried behind the church with all the other "Chace" ancestors. If I do not do this and I'm buried outside of Bristol County some do-gooder stone cutter might think he was doing me a favor by chiseling "Chase" on my tombstone. I would not like laying there for an eternity with the name spelled incorrectly!
And so ... To all of you who will continue to refer to us as "Chase" ... do so unhesitatngly. Most of us are completely ambivalent since "Chase" and "Chace" are proud and worth, historical American names. It's just that I choose to use the latter ... and I insist on my children using the same.
Frank C. Chace, Jr.
Colonel, US Marine Corps (Ret)
2800 North Flagler Drive
West Palm Beach, Florida 33407