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Home » Other SportsJune 2005 » Kokomo Kid Knocked Out

Kokomo Kid Knocked Out

My moniker was the cause of Stacia Firebaugh’s demise at the Scripps National Spelling Bee earlier this month. Mapquest shows me that there are six Kokomo’s in the United States (one each in Arizona, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Indiana, Missouri, and Texas), and one of my first homes on Maui was in Kokomo. Despite the song, there is no city, town, or beach named Kokomo off the Florida Keys, but since the Beach Boys recorded this tune, hotels and restaurants with the name have popped up in Florida. My Kokomo (emphasis on the second syllable, unlike how I assume the mainland locations to be pronounced) was not considered a beach town, as it was Upcountry Maui, which Darren Y.K. Chang fittingly calls the Montana of Hawaii.


You'll be interested to know that in fact, the song 'Kokomo' was written by the Beach Boys as something of a joke, due to their commercial relationship at the time with a software company (I thought it was IBM, but now I'm not entirely sure) that was based in Kokomo, IN.

That is interesting. I found this on Songfacts, but it doesn't mention the software company.

Now, admittedly, I have no actual factual basis fo this claim, except that my father - who used to go to Kokomo frequently for business with this company - told me it was so. I have chosen to believe it, because it's funny.

I just did a search for my daughter Stacia and found your article! How did you get your moniker?

Scott Firebaugh
Kokomo, IN

Hi Scott,
Thanks for writing. Sorry that your daughter didn't make it further in the spelling bee because of my nickname.

My selected my handle for a few reasons:

1. My grandmother's nickname is "Belen," which my mom told me meant "heaven" in Ilokano. So, I wanted a nickname resonated with that meaning. (My mom was incorrect, by the way, as it actually means "Bethelehem" or "manger.")

2. It's a near-homonym with the word "imperial." I like that the two words are contrasted by their meanings. "Imperial" is physical, mortal, defined by the laws of humanity, while "empyreal" is cerebral, immortal, and transcendent.

3. It's a rarely used word that I'd like to hear more often.

Thanks for stopping in. I wish you and your daughter the best in your future endeavors.

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