This was the exclamation with which I was almost invariably greeted when asked the name of our yet-to-be-delivered baby girl. It didn’t even stop in the delivery room. The nurse that attended us up until 2 hours prior to the delivery had the same reaction upon hearing our daughter’s name. She even had a story to go along with it which harkened back some thirty years ago to when she worked at McDonalds as a teen and would get off work at midnight with friends and drive down the street shouting the name at people they passed by. Even people at church would exclaim a somewhat more nervous and subdued version of “Steeeellllaaa” when we first came back to church after she was born. It seems that was the first thought in half the congregation’s mind as her birth announcement was read from the esteemed and venerable Inter-City pulpit. I have added the sound byte of this seemingly famous clip to our blog in order to entertain you the first time and annoy you the 2nd, 3rd, 4th…well you get the idea. Don’t worry it will be taken off soon. I will however add it somewhere else where it can be played at will so that those who are more easily entertained can listen at will and as many times as they’d like. (if you wonder what I’m talking about turn your speakers up).
The strange thing about all this is that few people actually know the origin of Steeeeellllaaaaa. Most would say the phrase and then mutter something like, “isn’t that from some old movie…who was in that…Marlon Brando?” It seems upon retrospect that we (Erica and I) are possibly the only members of our community who had never heard the name pronounced in such a way. But we became so familiar with the reaction to her name that when people would make the inevitable reference, I would say something like, “Yeah isn’t that from some movie with Marlon Brando?” as if I had some idea of what they were talking about. One person finally confirmed that the sound byte was actually from “A Streetcar Named Desire,” a play by Tennessee Williams which was adapted to the silver screen in 1951. Marlon Brando did not play Stella. And I still haven’t seen the film.