Distant kin await close encounter

Jon Solomon writes about an interesting pair of relatives, on MyrtleBeachOnline.com (writing for Knight Ridder).

An Excerpt:

They met a decade ago in a walkway of a New Orleans hotel, one a strapping former USFL linebacker, the other a lanky former wide receiver at Texas. That day, at the American Football Coaches Association convention, they discovered share a profession and an unusual German last name.

“I said, ‘You’ve got to be related to me,’” Vic Koenning recalled. “He goes, ‘Les Koenning. I said, ‘Vic Koenning.’”

They pronounce their last names differently, and this story about their great-great-grandfathers may be why:

Vic’s last name is pronounced CONE-ing, while Les’ is pronounced “KEN-ing.” Les’ late grandfather explained to Vic why there was discrepancy in the pronunciations: Joe and Leslie Koenning got in a fight; one pulled a knife or gun, and they split up and started separate lives in Texas.

I’ve experienced this in my own family as well (different pronounciations), although thankfully I think it had more to do with accents than possible fights.

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