The Namesake

“The Namesake,” Acrylic Monotype by Stephanie Khattak. 12 X 18 on paper.

This monotype print is taken from a vintage East Texas photo of my maternal great-grandmother’s grandmother, Ann. There have been Ann’s in the family ever since, including me. My father’s sister is also an Ann, so the name does double-duty for both sides of the family.

Elizabeth “Ann” was born in 1858 and died in 1948, so of course there aren’t many people left in my family who have direct memories of her. But she’s the originator of the “Panther Tales” that have been told to my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother and me, and everyone remembers those. When she was young and living on Renfro Prairie in East Texas, it seemed like there was a panther behind every tree, waiting to slash someone. She’s kept generations scared straight for a hundred years – none of us ever went far into the woods, and as we still occasionally hear panthers scream in the night there, we are right to stay away!