When I was living at the Martha Washington Hotel, I had two very good friends, Gerry (short for Geraldine) Yoder, and Mary Ellen MacDowell.  One day, in a teen age fit of allegiance to each other, we decided that, when we got married, if we had a baby girl, each of us would use the combined names of the other two for the baby’s name.  Gerry’s baby’s name would be Mary Jean.  Mary Ellen’s baby’s name would be Gerry Jean.  My baby’s name would be Gerry Ellen.  Neither Gerry or Mary Ellen did this, but later, when Jari was born, I thought–well, why not?  However, I thought it might be a good idea to change it a little.  I asked Howard about it and he said I could name her anything I wanted.  So I changed the spelling of Gerry to Jari and used the last part of Ellen for her second name: Lynne.  Jari Lynne Knudsen, as it turned out!

People thought Jari Knudsen was a Scandinavian name.  Because my last name was Knudsen and because I was tall and blonde, they thought I was Scandinavian too.  Later, when I became Jean Anderson (sometimes Jean Knudsen Anderson), and especially when I started doing Scandinavian dancing, everyone thought both Jari and I were straight from Oslo.