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Minnie
By Don McCauley

     The first time I remember hearing her name, I was six years old. Children especially, and adults as well, have been singing the praises of Minnie Moore for years, but few know more than her name. Is she still alive? Recent information indicates she is, but she must be getting up in years. Why is her name used so frequently? Is she one of those people who seem to be famous just for the sake of being famous like Charo, Tiny Tim, Twiggy or Anna Kournikova? Since most of the people I talked to knew her name, but knew nothing about Minnie the person, I decided to try to find out something about her life and accomplishments. It wasn’t as easy as I expected it to be.

     Since her name is so familiar, I first tried the encyclopedia. The closest I found was Marianne Moore, born in 1887, a well-known American poet, critic and translator who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. It seems unlikely that Minnie would be a diminutive for Marianne. Besides, that would make her 114 years old.

     Next, I tried the Internet. The problem with the Internet is that you have to sift through so much useless information and then you’re never sure you found everything. Seventy Minnie Moores were listed in the white pages. Some could be rejected immediately, names like Jim Minnie Moore or Paul Minnie Moore, for example. After going through the elimination process, I was left with 17 Minnie Moores in 9 states that sounded like good possibilities.

     Over the span of about 10 days, I called those 17 telephone numbers, each time speaking to a Minnie Moore or one of her family who answered the phone. After asking some key questions, I determined that none of them were the Minnie Moore. In fact, many of them had been named after the original. Of course, Minnie may not have a listed telephone number or she could have married and shed her maiden name.
That’s about where I stand now, so I am appealing for help. Do any of you readers know anything about Minnie or have information that might help me in my search?

     Hold on. I have to go now. Today is my granddaughter’s birthday. Her mother just passed by with the candle-topped cake burning brightly, and the family is starting to sing:

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Chelsea,
Happy birthday to you,
And Minnie Moore.
© 2002 Don McCauley All Rights Reserved.

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