Sharing tragedy's name gives woman pause

January 5, 2013
photo - Sandy Hook works in the El Paso County Clerk and Recorders Office. Photo by
Sandy Hook works in the El Paso County Clerk and Recorders Office. Photo by  

Her name is Sandy Hook.

She never gave much thought about it until the Dec. 14 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Hook, a manager for El Paso County Clerk and Recorder, realized her name was going to raise eyebrows when she got an e-mail reply from a customer. “He said something like ‘Wow,” she says. Since then quite a few have mentioned it.

Sandy Hook got her name 15 years ago when she married Richard Hook. Her maiden name is Shenk.

The school where 26 were killed, was named after Sandy Hook Village. Sandy Hook refers to a bend in a nearby river that lays down sand when it storms, a town librarian said.

New Jersey friends told her about Sandy Hook – a barrier spit. She has a replica of the old lighthouse there.

In October, when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast her name became a topic among friends. She told them, “Maybe I will go by Sandra.”

Then came the school tragedy. The deaths shocked and saddened her.

She acknowledges that even now, “When I see my name in the newspaper all the time, it kind of throws me.”

But she says that Sandy Hook Elementary is at its essence a memorialized name that will honor those who died there.

“I look at it that way.”

Contact Carol McGraw: 636-0371 Twitter @mcgrawatgazette Facebook Carol McGraw

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