My paternal grandfather’s name was Halan Laverne Bishop. He died before I was born. He named his only son Fredrick Laverne Bishop. For some reason, Laverne II dropped the “e” and named his only son Shane Lavern Bishop (that is me). They tell me Laverne used to be a guy or girl’s name but then the sitcom “Laverne and Shirley” hit the airwaves on ABC in 1976 and it was all over. In 1984 when my son was born, I felt the pressure of three generations weighing heavily upon me. Then I saw him for the first time. He was screaming his lungs out, had a bluish tint and his head looked like a peanut. When the nurse came in to get the name, Melissa and I responded in unison, “Zechariah Christian Bishop.” Sorry Laverne I and Laverne II; Lavern III couldn’t pull the trigger; the kid seemed to have enough going against him already.
-Rev. Shane L. Bishop is the Senior Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois and author of “Exactly as I Remember it…” to be released December 2.