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In April of 1998, I wrote: Every family ought to refer to some memorably ridiculous moment from its past as “The Ox-Bow Incident.”

It struck me as an efficient way to recall a noteworthy episode of family lore.

But there’s no need to stop there. Literature, music and film offer many evocative titles just waiting for appropriation.

Instead of referring to some misadventure in an unwieldy way, your family could allude to “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.”

Or “Spring Hill Mining Disaster” could be shorthand for a day when things went terribly wrong.

Perhaps you need a coded way of labeling the time when two neighbors had a heated exchange about lawn care and property values. How about “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral”?

The possibilities are endless.

Paul Turner


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