Jed Becker
Dear fellow Jeds:
Well well well here is a web-site devoted to Jeds. Here, I can
proudly stand up and say, in a clear strong voice, "I am Jed!" without hearing a chorus of shouts
return from the audience, "Like Jed Clampett?".
Like Jed Clampett. Indeed. For this is why I have always hated my
name. Yes, my fellow Jeds, I confess that I have indeed spent countless late-nite hours
staring up at the ceiling, wondering how on earth my parents, born and raised in the
Bronx,  came to call their Queens-born son  Jed. I asked them this many times, but I've
never gotten a satisfactory answer.

Could they have known that two years after I was born, the most popular show on
television for the next eight years would feature a "hoo-doggy"in', rag-wearin' hillbilly
with my name? No of course not. Did this make my youth any easier for me? No of course
not. I was already a different enough child to be unpopular -
overweight, unathletic, loud, clumsy - here was one more thing about me to make me an alien, a
freak, an object of ridicule. And our country cousins last name -"Clampett" -  well this
was only an invitation to have various parts of my body stomped, pinched and "clamped" in a
variety of inventive ways. Oh they were inventive.
Going through life, my name continues to label me automatically as an
outsider, especially far from the Appalachian Hills here in New York City. Why on earth would
there be a guy named Jed here in New York City? "Is it a nickname?" No. "Is it short
for anything?" No. It's just Jed. J-E-D. D as in dog. Not Jeb. "It must be short for
Jedidiah." Wouldn't I know if it was short for Jedediah?
I can only remember once meeting another true Jed. I was pumpkin picking maybe 10-15
years ago. I heard a mother call out, "Jed! Jed over here!" Of course, never having met
another Jed, I approached her. "Is your son's name Jed?" "Yes it is."
"Is it a nickname, or short for anything?" "No, just Jed." Wow! Sure, I've had the odd
occasion where someone has said they had a friend named Jed, but of course, further
investigation revealed it to be a nickname of some sort. I was still virtually
alone in my Jedness.
I've not yet read messages left by my fellow Jeds, but I hope I'm not the first to point out
the only Jed I've found to be proud of - in "Citizen Kane", Joseph Cotten's character was
named Jed Leland. And Joseph Cotten is a great actor. Hmmm, I would think as I stared at the 
ceiling, perhaps that was my parents inspiration. I could hold on to that hope.
Now, finally, at this point in my life my attitude is changing
towards my long-hated appellation. I have a wonderful new woman in my life, (in fact she
found this website for me) and being from Israel, she comes with a name that is also unusual
here in New York. She also comes without any preconceptions about the name Jed. To her,
it's a new one syllable sound. And she loves the name. And so do all her friends!
Suddenly I'm getting more positive feedback about my name than ever before! And believe it
or not, I'm actually becoming proud of it. Yes. I am Jed. I AM JED!!!!!!!
Jed Becker
New York, New York