Monday, June 13, 2011

What's In A Name?

I'm often asked how our sailboat, Sparkle Plenty, got its name.  Goes way back to reading Dick Tracy comics, a favorite "strip" of mine:

"Plenty familyThe Plenty family was a group of goofy redneck yokels headed by the former villain, Bob Oscar ("B.O."), along with Gertrude ("Gravel Gertie") Plenty. Gravel Gertie was introduced as the unwitting dupe (accessory) of the villain, The Brow, who was on the run from Dick Tracy. The family provided a humorous counterpoint to Tracy's adventures. The Plenty sub-story was decades long, and saw Sparkle Plenty grow from an infant to a young married lady.
The Plenty family appeared with Tracy in a story that occurred in a bank, where "B.O." found a way to prevent thieves from snatching an envelope of money from a counter."


"In his comic strip Dick Tracy Chester Gould has created a repulsive
gallery of characters which includes such figures as Flattop, The Brow
and the Mole. Last year Gould married off two of his unseemly
personalities, B. O. Plenty, an unkempt, smelly old criminal and Gravel
Gertie, a banjo-playing dervish who lived in a gravel pit. Two months
ago this grotesque couple amazed Gould's public by producing a beautiful
child named Sparkly. Her dazzling eyes and hip-length blond hair
immediately won the hearts of Dick Tracy's 26 million readers.

Among them was an ex-all American football player named William
M. Mc Duffee, manager of the toy department of Gimbels, one of the
largest department stores in the U.S. McDuffee reasoned that because
of the popular comic strip a Baby Sparkle Plenty doll would need little
advertising or promotion. Mc Duffee took his idea to the Ideal Toy and
Novelty Co. Forty eight days later, the production of Baby Sparkle
Plenty dolls began. On July 28 they went on sale. At a stiff $ 5.98 apiece,
10,000 sold in the first five days. Sales in the next two weeks zoomed
to 22,000. At this rate more Baby Sparkle Plentys will be sold in the
last five months of this year than all other types of doll put together.
Mc Duffee, who knows a good thing when he has it, is getting ready
to bring out Baby Sparkle Plenty cradle and a Gravel Gertie banjo."

Sparkle Plenty seemed as likely as any other to paint on the side of the boat.  The boat does sparkle plenty. 

1 comment:

La Roo said...

The doll could be Gracie and she does sparkle plenty or wifeys eyes a dazzlers so they sparkle plenty. There were all kinds of things leaning you towards that name.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States