Not that Melissa

The editor clears up confusion about who she isn’t

A few months ago, I got a really nice note from a retired local teacher who thought I’d been one of his junior-high students years ago. For some time, while reading my byline, he had a picture in his head of the girl he knew.

It’s an easy mistake to make. Daugherty isn’t a very common name in the States, unless you live in Boston. I never knew a single non-relative Daugherty while growing up in the Bay Area, at least not with my spelling. There were a couple of Doughertys and a number of Dohertys in my hometown, however.

A quick online search indicates there are just 94 Melissa Daughertys in the United States. Funny how I ended up living in a town where one of them grew up. I wonder if that Melissa is still in town and whether she gets asked about her job at the Chico News & Review all the time.

I don’t know where the rest of these same-name Melissas live, but I have a general idea about a couple of them. That’s because I get emails intended for a few of them on a fairly regular basis at my personal account. One lives in the Washington, D.C., area. I know this because the D.C. Public Library sends me messages about what she’s checked out. This week it was The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The other Melissa is somewhere in Southern California. She and her husband, Sean, were recently invited to a craft-beer tasting event at the Los Angeles Zoo. Animals and beer? Yes, please.

I have to say, both of these Melissas sound like my kind of gals.

These aren’t the only wayward messages I’ve received. Most of the time, I send a reply saying “Wrong Melissa” or I unsubscribe from lists I accidentally get put on. But the emails just keep on coming.

Not my pop. Every once in a while I’m asked if I’m the daughter of John Daugherty. I am, indeed. But not the one who’s a former city of Chico deputy assistant city manager. I hear he actually pronounces his name dockh-er-ti, which is closer to the Gaelic pronunciation (dockh-har-tay). My family goes by the more Americanized door-e-ti.

My dad actually goes by the nickname Skip. Only telemarketers call him John. I don’t think I even knew his real name until I heard my great-grandmother call him Johnny when I was a little kid. She was the only one who did. My dad grew up in nearby Hamilton City and went to Chico State before moving to the Bay Area. He’s come full circle, retiring several years ago and returning, with my step-mom, Dona, to a farm that has been in our family for more than 40 years.

I moved up here to go to Chico State. Fifteen years later, I pretty much consider myself a Chicoan.

So, I may not be the Melissa some people had imagined. But maybe I’m not that far off the mark.