Yesterday's New York Times ran a story about Charles Napoleon, a descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte, who's a deputy mayor in his famous ancestor's birthplace of Ajaccio, Corsica.
"The name is known all over the world. I once went to a tiny village in China, and when I told them my name, they knew who Napoleon was."
His great-grandfather, Napoleon Joseph Charles Bonaparte, a one-time politician in Corsica, changed the family's last name from Bonaparte to Napoleon. That makes booking hotels or restaurants a challenge.
"When I've called and said I'm `Mr. Napoleon,' I've been told, `Sure, and I'm the pope,' " he said. "That's my heritage. What can I do?"
And in America?
It is easier, he said, in the United States: "Americans don't know much about history. I have to spell my name in the U.S."
Gosh, I'm so proud.