Naming a child brings big possibilities. Often, parents spend countless hours looking for just the right one. Last year, the most popular names in the U.S. were Sophia and Jacob. One group of Nebraskans is getting its name out there.
What's in a name? “Very loyal.” Yes, a name can mean that. For these Nebraskans it's sometimes about keeping the flame alive. “It's an old name that's dying off.” But there's also something more immediate. “We want to have a good time.”
On this day there was a special kinship. “We're the Star City group.” But first they wanted to get to know their destination, the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs. “We are going in to give our money to Omaha or Council Bluffs, ha."
With age come some admissions. “We forget the last names, but not the first.” And there's a good reason for that. Let's meet these ladies.
“Betty, go Big Red!”
They are some of the Bettys of Nebraska. “We don't have to remember anything but Betty.” Even the staff got into it at check-in. “Are you a Betty? Oh, Ethel. I want a Betty.”
“All of us Betty's want to be together.” Which is key these days because they are getting harder to find. “The name is dying off.”
From 1923 to 1940, Betty always ranked in the top five names for newborns in the United States. It hasn't been back on the list since.
“We are a fun bunch of Bettys.” To be called a Betty back in the day meant something extra. “When she's a Betty it means she's really cute and sexy.”
This annual celebration came with some heartache. “Three in heaven now, starting their own Betty Club up there.” These Bettys are hoping for a revival of sorts. “This is one of the Bettys as well.” But it's not starting within. Just ask if any of their grandchildren are named Betty. “No."
Still, the Betty quest continues and with a little luck, “Always bet on Betty.”