Seducing the boss’ secretary

My father was an unusually honorable man.  He tried to steer me this way.  He explained to me once that he would not go out and eat lunch with his secretary unescorted.  The reason was not that he was concerned any romantic or otherwise inappropriate activity might take place, but rather that someone else seeing them together might think this was happening. In the summer of 2000 i wanted to get closer to my father so i took an internship job for his architecture firm in Boston.  i did some analysis of the company website, wrote a report and was overpaid for this work (the money actually went to Twin Oaks – which was easy to do because i was living with my parents with very few costs).

Over the summer i got involved with my dad’s part-time secretary, Jaz Tupelo.  She came to visit me a few times at Twin Oaks.  And one day while she was walking through the woods to a work shift on a crisp morning, she said to herself,  “I can go back to Boston rush-hour traffic or walking down this beautiful path could be my alternative commute.  I think i will move here.”

Paxus and Jaz circa 2001

Paxus and Jaz circa 2001

She did not arrive with the name Jaz.  It was selected at a naming party.  And as these parties sometimes go, the person who is being named does not have the same first choice as the group.  Both Jaz and i were vying for Emma, there was even a tug of war in the hammock shop between the last two names – Emma and Jaz.  We lost.

Jaz came to Twin Oaks, but her first love was music.  After a year of regular commune life she decided she wanted to work for the local NPR channel in Charlottesville as a DJ.  Turned out that the group had chosen the right name despite our initial objections.

Bro, Dad/boss, me blabbing, Jaz Tupelo

Bro, Dad/boss, me blabbing, Jaz Tupelo

So here is the corrected version of the story from Jaz herself.  i like my version also, so i am leaving both in.

The origin of the name Jaz is much more interesting, I think…and you can either rewrite your post to reflect this, or add my notes in as part of the post, or as a postscript. It is how I tell the story of my name.

My birth name is lovely and unique and always pronounced incorrectly, when it’s remembered at all. There was already someone at Twin Oaks with a name similar to mine, and we were already starting to get each other’s mail. Finally I said, “I just moved to a commune: what better time to come up with a new name?” My mother, who was not happy with my decision to move to a commune, was even less happy that I was allegedly ditching the lovely and unique name she chose for me. “What are you going to name yourself, Jasmine Peaceflower?” she snarked. I told a friend this story, and she added “Jasmine” to the list of suggested names. During the naming party, Leila suggested we change it to “Jaswomyn,” and then Tom suggested “Jaz. With one Z.”

“Jaz” actually got voted down. The two remaining contenders were “Emma” and “Satiya.” I had been leaning toward “Emma.” But when the moment of truth was upon me, it just didn’t feel like it fit me, really. So I exercised my ultimate veto power and chose “Jaz.” That’s the important thing to remember…that I did choose “Jaz.” Just as I chose my path to Twin Oaks, and I chose my path to the radio station – where the name turned out to be an incredible asset.

Jaz and partner Josh

Jaz and partner Josh

[Edited by Judy Youngquest]

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

6 responses to “Seducing the boss’ secretary”

  1. Jaz says :

    I feel compelled to point out again that it was the summer of 1999, not 2000. I was at Twin Oaks for the 1999-2000 New Year’s party.

  2. cellorelio says :


  3. dbmamaz says :

    Is that Josh an ex-ew’er?

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