No, I’m not shutting down the blog, but I am retiring the use of “Don Loper” as its name. I’ve already transferred all my Twitter followers and history over to a new account @joshsteimle (it’s pretty easy, see here), and a similar change will be happening everywhere else I’ve used the Don Loper name, including with the domain of this blog.
Why? Perhaps we should first ask why I used the moniker in the first place. The short story is that Don Loper was a clothing designer for the I Love Lucy TV show, and he later had a line of ties that were popular in the 70s. I owned one of these ties. It developed a reputation in its own right. When the Internet came about and I needed a username, I started using “donloper” because it was never taken. Sure, jsteimle and a hundred other variations on my own name weren’t taken, but I started using donloper on a whim, and it stuck. Later on I continued using it as a nickname because I never had to explain to people how to spell it, unlike my own last name.
However, over time I realized my use of Don Loper was just plain confusing–more confusing than spelling my last name, and that’s why it’s being retired. I’ve decided to embrace my last name, and rather than changing myself to fit the world I live in, I’ll work to change the world to fit me. That is, it is now my life’s work to educate people on how to correctly spell and pronounce “Steimle.” Well, not entirely pronounce it correctly, because the correct German pronunciation would just be brain damage for most Americans, which is why my family pronounces it to rhyme with “timely.”
What do you need to do? Most likely not anything. Everything from Twitter followers to RSS feed subscribers should be transferred over seamlessly. If not, I’ll let you know.
And so the history of donloper.com can be preserved here for posterity, here’s the story of where the name came from:
When I went into the LDS Missionary Training Center (MTC) preparing to be a missionary in Brazil, I went prepared with a slew of 25-cent polyester ties I had picked up from the thrift store. One of those ties I ended up wearing virtually every single day of my mission (just to prove it could be done). Another was “Supra-Long.”
This other tie was about two inches wide at it’s widest point, but front to back it was probably a good third of an inch thick. It was a shiny, brown, polyester with thin, diagonal, colored, stripes. It was ugly as sin. But the best thing about it was it’s six-foot plus length. If I held one end above my head, it still almost reached the ground. If I tied it with the two ends even, it came down to a little above my knees.
Every once in a while I would tie it so that it bounced off my shins while I walked, and if anyone commented on it, I would proudly display the small label on the tip of the smaller end that read “supra-long.” I was very pleased with the return on my 25-cent investment.
One day, I was walking down a hall in the MTC with my buddies, and suddenly, a missionary 30 feet away points at me and yells, “Is that a Don Loper tie?” I had no idea what he was talking about, and could only stand there puzzled as he ran up to me, turned the tie around, and proudly displayed the label I had never bothered to look at, and it read, “Don Loper of Beverly Hills.” Pleased with himself, he said, “Yep, I knew it,” and then he quickly walked off.
To this day I have no idea how he knew this 30-yr old tie I had was a Don Loper, or where he ever heard of the company.
Somehow the popularity of Don Loper ties grew in the mission, until there totalled at least two missionaries with them. Elder Jonathan Mattern’s mother sent him one in a box with 50 other ties to give to the natives, and I had mine. I ended up giving mine to Elder Adalto Serpa Bonfim, since I only wore one tie all the time anyway and had no need for a second tie taking up space in my baggage.
So why do I use the name so much? Oh, I don’t know; it was just a funny incident and the name’s convenient because no one else ever uses it for anything. That’s really all there is to it. I’m also hoping the real Don Loper, who happens to still be in business making ties in Beverly Hills (although he doesn’t make the stylish polyester ties of yore), will someday contact me and want to buy the domain name from me.
I received this email one day. I thought it was kind of neat, so here it is:
Date: Wednesday, November 04, 1998 6:48 PM
Subject: Don Loper
>Don Loper died several years ago. He was my dads second cousin.The Loper
>family dates back to the 1600’s. Don Loper was a famous designer from CA.
>from Randy Loper