Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Who the hell is Dido Albert Federowich?

Street oddities, revisited.

(Again, I'm claiming fair use of a few copyrighted works, for the purposes of commentary and criticism.)

Whoever he is, was, or wasn't, he sure has a number of streets named in his memory, not only in Omaha, but in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Richmond, CA, Austin, Greenville, SC, Madison, WI, and even Honolulu! Google if you want, there are more of them.

In Omaha, Dido Albert Federowich Memorial Drive is an unmarked four-block stub leading north from Fort Street into the north side of Omaha's Tranquility Park.

I pass the intersection of Fort and Dido Albert Federowich Memorial Drive (typing that one is a CHORE!) every day. Ever since I got the Garmin, I noticed the name for some reason, never doubting that there was indeed some prominent citizen in the history of Omaha, Dido Albert Federowich, for whom the street was named. I wondered who Dido Albert Federowich was even as I was preparing that last blog items on copyright traps.

Then it hit me!

Hey, dum-dum, there's no street sign for Dido Albert Federowich Memorial Drive!

The Garmin, with maps attributed to Navteq, sure shows it, let's check the on-line maps. Yahoo (above, also attributed to Navteq) also shows it, but Google, now attributed to Tele Atlas, shows it as it is, an unmarked dead-end stub serving Tranquility Park.

And here it is! Dido Albert Federowich Memorial drive, an unmarked dead-end stub, just west of the ball field parking lots, in Tranquility Park.

Can you say Copyright Trap? :)

Say What?

When in New York, if somebody should ask directions to "Hew-ston" Street (Houston), he or she is immediately pegged as an out-of-towner. Natives pronounce it "How-ston", after William Houstoun [sic] for whom the street is named, and for which the "How-ston" pronunciation is correct. (LOL, and few non-natives will even attempt to pronounce "Schermerhorn" or "Joralemon!") :)

(Update: If you landed here doing a search on how to pronounce "Schermerhorn" or "Joralemon", look HERE.)

Omaha has a few (several, actually) streets which are not pronounced as they are signed.

The most common variations in pronunciation appear to be similar variations on a theme with Cuming and William Streets. Neither name has an "s" appended, but they are frequently referred to by natives as "Cumings" and "Williams" respectively.

Emile Street. "Emile" is the French variant of Emil, a somewhat common surname or given name, and is usually pronounced "a-meel", two syllables, as in Emile Zola. In Omaha, it's a homonym of Emily, three syllables.

Grebe Street, a shorter and not-well-known street on the far north side is another example. A grebe is a bird, a waterfowl, pronounced "greeb", one syllable. Omaha natives pronounce it "gree-bee", two syllables.

Giles Road. Giles (pronounced "Jiles") is a somewhat common surname, given name, and name of a saint. Giles Road is not some obscure enclave, it's one of the main drags of LaVista and suburban Sarpy County, running westward from roughly 66th. or so to somewhere around Los Angeles. :) Usually, most people pronounce this properly, but I've heard, and still occasionally hear, "Gill-is" (as in Dobie) and "Guy-les" Road.

For some reason, radio and TV announcers seem to mispronounce this one most often!

Same street, different spelling.

Emiline Street is either one block or two blocks south of Harrison Street (7100 south or so), depending on the phase of the moon. The phase of the moon also seems to affect the spelling:

Same intersection, same street, different spelling!

The "E" variant appears on the southwest corner of 108th. and Grand(e).

These two signs are catercorner to each other at 108th. and Grand(e).


Anonymous said...

Another one is my street, Bondesson St. There's no 'R' in Bondesson but idiots keep calling it BonDERson.

I even get mail to my address addressed to Bonderson St. The post office even delivers it and knows it this way.

Jimbo said...

Many old Omaha maps spell Farnam St 'Farnham' (correct) and 'Farnum' (incorrect.

Omababe said...

As an interesting comment to my own blog, I found out that a Google search for "Dido Albert Federowich" now brings up this blog post as the first entry!

LOL, and people pay thousands of dollars for those so-called search engine optimizations! :)

Shoshana said...

RE: Dido Albert Federowich Memorial Dr... I just got a Garmin and found a street labeled this here in Austin. Google doesn't have a name for this one block street but obviously MapQuest does. I am going to go take a picture of the street sign - in the past all I've remembered is that it's a long name.. but I really don't think it's Dido Albert Federowich!!!

Paddywack said...

This is SO FUNNY! I thought I was the only one who knew the secret of D.A.F.

At first I thought he was a local war hero or something.

Anonymous said...

I only saw one obituary of Albert Federowich in Canada. He was in the army. Died in 2002. Have no clue if this is who the streets are named after.