What’s in a Name

Kevin Shannon and his daughter Ellen Crain


Stories to tell, nicknames to remember – or is it stories to remember and nicknames to tell. Butte, Montana, is renowned for its practice of giving just about everybody in town a handle. Turns out that there’s actually a book of nicknames that’s been passed around Butte for years, and one of the authors came into the booth on our first day open.

Meet Young Spike Nose, i.e. Kevin Shannon and his daughter Ellen Crain.

Mr. Shannon not only had firsthand knowledge of the nicknames around town, but had about 80 years of Butte history stored in his ol’ noggin. At one time Butte rivaled New York in its ethnic diversity and wealth. Today, not so much, but there’s still plenty of reminders of a glorious past (and a direct NYC kinship – look close and you’ll see an old sign for the Bronx Lounge and Supper Club).



Leave a Reply


  • Major Funding Provided By

    CPB Logo
  • National Broadcast Sponsors

    CTCA Logo Gevalia Logo
  • National Partners

    NPR American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress
  • Charity Navigator Logo