Would Kirk Douglas have been Kirk Douglas if he had kept his original name, Issur Danielovitch? Would Marilyn Monroe have the same sex appeal if she had gone by her original name, Norma Jean Baker? Would Slash be a guitar hero if he was still Saul Hudson?
Changing a name can bring about a change of fortune, and one place that is needed right now is Mineta Airport San Jose. Despite its $1.3 billion makeover, Mineta isn’t taking off like it was supposed to, and the airport is still left in the shadows of San Francisco and Oakland’s own airports. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and one desperate measure being considered is changing the name of the airport.
Mineta would stick. After all, Norman Y. Mineta was a Mayor, a Congressman, and the longest serving Transportation Secretary in this nation’s history. He was also the first Asian American cabinet member, and a bipartisan one at that, serving under Presidents Clinton and Bush.
San Jose would stick too. One of the reasons it was kept was to keep San Jose, California’s second largest city, from falling under the shadow of its little neighbor with pretensions to the north, San Francisco.
City Councilman Sam Liccardo simply wants to add Silicon Valley to the Airport’s name. After all, Silicon Valley has global appeal, and plenty of people fly out here to meet with the captains of high tech that dominate the valley. They might as well fly into the Valley’s own airport, rather drive down from distant SFO.
The problem, however, is that the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose/Silicon Valley International Airport is a bit of a mouthful. Most people shorten their names for success—Douglas is certainly easier on the tongue than Danielovitch. That’s one of the issues that the committee set up by Mayor Chuck Reed will have to discuss at its meeting today.