The Family Letter Blog

Connecting Generations

Leave a comment

Celebrating my Father’s Birthday

I’ve gotten so far behind on posts on my personal blog that I posted about my father’s birthday there but here’s a link for you to read about it.

Interesting tidbit about my father’s name. He has no middle name even though he spent most of his life using the initials BBK. Growing up, everyone in my family called him K.B. – not sure why except that those were his “Navy initials” last name first.  On his birth certificate his name is Bryant Kingsbury. The middle name he often used, Bush, was his father’s middle name. So now for the interesting tidbit.

According to my father, who apparently knew that he did not have a middle name even though he used one, the reason he began using Bush as his middle name is because when he was born, a friend of the family dedicated a book to him and she used the name – Bryant Bush Kingsbury.

“And that’s how I got Bush as a middle name.”

TitlePage.Murder in Maryland.1932

When my father was born, his parents were good friends with another professor at St Johns College and his wife. The professor’s name was Ford Brown and his wife was Zenith Brown who had some success as a mystery writer using the pen name Leslie Ford. One of her novels, Murder in Maryland, was dedicated to my father.


Leslie Ford was born Zenith Jones (nee Brown) in 1889 in Smith River, Calif., where her father was a missionary among the Indians, and spent her earliest years in a papoose, raised among the Indians to whom her father ministered. She studied to be a journalist and started freelancing in 1928. She wrote her first novel, Footsteps on the Stairs in 1931 and her last, Trial for Ambush, in 1962. In-between, she wrote more than 60 mysteries, created two major crime series (as Leslie Ford and David Frome), and was a foreign correspondent in the European and Pacific Theaters.


Thanks to my very thoughtful husband, I have one of Leslie Ford’s books. When he heard the story I just recounted (from my father, I had never heard it before) he ordered the book on line. Maybe I’ll even read it one day!