Commenting on the search for a name for a new Indiana Tollway in the region of
Hammond, Indiana, Robert Blaszkiewicz, in his column for the
Northwest Indian Times (April 30, 2006),
suggested a Shep connection. The road is leased to
“the Cintra-Macquarie consortium.”
With his permission, I quote from his column:
“A highway name should be something that evokes the local history and character of the region. It also needs to roll effortlessly off the tongue of a traffic reporter.
“I’d like to take columnist’s license to toss one out there myself: ‘The Jean Shepherd Memorial In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash Tollway.…’ The book title is the ideal sentiment for a road where we’ll be forking over an ever-increasing amount of money to some faceless foreign entity.
“Yes, the name is a bit long. No problem, in traffic reports it will simply be called ‘the Shep.’
[Blaszkiewicz comments that Shepherd often disparaged his hometown]
“So call it payback to attach his name to a strip of concrete that many of us will end up cursing:
” ‘Why are you late?’
” ‘I got stuck on the (bleepin’) Shep again.’
“But I think even Shepherd would appreciate his name as an object of derision. After all, it was Shep, himself, who immortalized his Old Man’s tapestry of obscenities still hanging over Lake Michigan.”
Several Shep fans have also suggested titles for the road, including these of mine:
J. Parker Parkway
Og and Charlie Turnpike
Loose Knees Speedway.