“By Sydney Little”

Sep 8, 2010 | 2 comments

Little Sydney Little, 1945

     I don’t remember when I last wrote an article that carried my maiden name as the byline.  Probably it was when I worked at the Stanford Daily in 1953 or 1954.  I do remember clearly my first-ever byline for a story called “The Naked Turkey” which was printed on the Children’s Page of the Oakland Tribune in 1945.
     So, it is with some amazement that I see a reference to myself as “Local author Sydney Little” in the current issue of the Sou’wester, the quarterly publication of the Pacific County Historical Society.  “Amazement” probably isn’t the operable work – more like amusement – because I actually was forewarned.  The Society’s president, Steve Rogers, had kindly sent me an email last week which said:
     You should be getting a new magazine today or tomorrow. I was quite proud of it until I started working on the inside cover of the courthouse edition. I thought I was paying homage to your work when I put three of your publications on the inside back cover, along with some of Doug’s as sort of a way to promote your efforts. Unfortunately, I referred to you as Sydney Little. I have no idea why I did this. I have never known you as Sydney Little. Ray Hicks refers to you as Sydney Little, but I have absolutely no reference to that name. I am indeed sorry.
      Most curious of all to me is the Ray Hicks part.  I have met Mr. Hicks only twice, both times fairly recently, and he did tell me that he remembered me from the day in 1954 that Oysterville celebrated its Centennial.  I was a college girl and he, unbeknownst to me, was a young swain admiring me from afar – or at least that is what he told me.  If that is true, I guess it makes sense that he still thinks of me as Sydney Little, but what in the world has he said to Steve Rogers to have made the name stick?  (This issue of the Sou’wester was written by Steve and is called “Ray Hicks: A Life on the Waters of Willapa Bay” so, presumably, the two men have spent a lot of time talking together lately.  I can’t imagine that much of it had to do with me.)
     Oh well, “a rose by any other name…” as they say.  As long as people look at the titles of the books pictured in the Sou’wester, and not at the name of that “local author,” all is well.  And it was nice of them to give my books a plug.  Sydney Whatshername appreciates it!


  1. Nancy

    Dear Sydney: I have known and admired you and your writing since Jr.Hi., the late 1940s. Whatever name is used, referred to, I will find you! Write about Medora, about tree frogs, apples, cranberries, about chickens. You write, your readers read. Thank you.

  2. Memi

    Sydney, I loved it and chuckled when I read it because in my mind I always think of you as that little girl, Sydney Little. (sorry, Nyel)


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