Sure, Gwyneth Paltrow named her children Apple and Moses, but it's not every day that you meet an "Average Joe" named Heston Charlton-but it turns out there really is something for everyone in credit union land.
When The Credit Union Journal received a press release announcing that Rogue FCU had promoted Heston Charlton to Special Services Manager, we just had to ask him about his intriguing name-a response to which Charlton is more than a wee bit familiar, as you might imagine.
CUJ: What inspired your parents to give you a twist on such a famous name?
Charlton: I would love to say that my parents were inspired by a love for Charlton Heston or his movies, but the truth is that as young adults they were truly looking for a name that would be unique. Putting that together with a bit of a sense of humor and they came up with my name.
CUJ: What was it like growing up with this name? What is it like living with this name?
Charlton: Growing up with such a recognizable name was at times very hard. When I was young I hated the fact that every teacher I had would always make a comment about my name and it was usually followed by "your parents must have had a sense of humor." As I grew older I didn't mind as much, I was given an automatic "ice breaker" every time I met someone new.
CUJ: Did you ever complain to your parents about it?
Charlton: Growing up I didn't really ever complain, complaining wasn't something that happened in our family. I did at times insinuate that I wish I had a different name, but was always told to be happy that I had such a unique name, and to remember "at least nobody will forget your name."
CUJ: Tell us some of the best-and, of course, worst-comments you've heard about your name.
Charlton: The worst comments are usually associated even to this day with people thinking that I am not really Heston Charlton. People see my name and assume that I must be making it up or am trying to be funny. People at times have been rude and have gotten to the point of demanding ID before they would believe I am who I really am. Also I have a lot of people who think it is funny to call me Moses and I absolutely hate that! The best times are usually when people will go on and on about how great my name is, and how much they love(d) Charlton Heston. Sometimes I will have older ladies tell me of crushes they had on him, and much more. Like I mentioned earlier I have always had that instant icebreaker, all I have to do is introduce myself and usually people will have some comment or questions about my name.
CUJ: Have you ever considered changing your name, and if so, to what? Why or why not?
Charlton: I have NEVER considered changing my name. I like the fact-especially now that I am older-that my name is unique and easy for people to remember.
CUJ: Do you enjoy having such a stand-out name?
Charlton: My name doesn't bother me at all. There are times when I would rather not be asked questions about my name or to be told that I must be kidding etc., but all in all I am happy that I have the name I do.
CUJ: Would you ever name your children with some sort of stand-out name like this? If you currently have children, what are their names? How did your own experience drive how you chose their names?
Charlton: I never considered naming my children anything unusual, because though I enjoy my name now I remember what it was like growing up, and didn't want them to go through the same thing. I wanted my children to have somewhat unique names, but nothing as unique as mine. I have an 8-year-old daughter named LeEtta, an 8-year-old son named Tay, a 6-six-year old son named Kobey, and a 2-year-old daughter name Alyssa.
CUJ: What's the best thing about having such a distinctive name? What's the worst thing (other than being pestered by The Credit Union Journal about it) about having such a distinctive name?
Charlton: Like I mentioned earlier the best thing about having a distinctive name is being remembered and having that easy icebreaker. The worst part is having people not believe what your name really is and also people ALWAYS get my name backwards!
CUJ: If you could pick any name you wanted, what would it be, and why?
Charlton: I would stay with who I am, I have no desire to have any other name. I generally enjoy the comments I get about my name now, much more than I did growing up. It could always be worse, my brother's name is Zepp Lyn, after the band Led Zeppelin, and I also have twin brothers named Benjamin & Franklin.
The Credit Union Journal didn't have the heart to ask Charlton if he was kidding.