Mac McGrew - What is the "M. F."?
M. F. McGrew: What’s the “M. F.”?

(A mystery resolved)

From Mac McGrew:

I was christened Marion Foreman, for my paternal grandfather and my mother’s family name. At the time, two spellings of Marion were common: with an -on as a masculine name or with an -an as a feminine name—just as Francis with -is is a masculine name, and Frances with an -es is a feminine name.
      I’m sure my parents never realized they were giving me a name that was becoming feminine. But it has been the source of much embarrassment—such as the time when a teacher, as a new school year began, assigned seats alternating between boys and girls, except for me. Or the time when a doctor sent me to the hospital for X-ray tests. The admitting nurse filled out the necessary paperwork, then inquired, “Where’s the patient?”
      I endured it through school, then as much as possible went by initials. But “Mac” had been a nickname for quite a while, so eventually someone said, “Why don’t you go by ‘Mac’ all the time?” That worked, and has been my name ever since.
—Mac McGrew

From Jon McGrew:

That discussion from my father brought back a couple of memories for me.
      When I entered the Third Grade, the teacher spent some time going around the room with official papers in hand, asking each student for their parents’ first names for her records. (So much for school records.) When she came to me, I dutifully reported that my father’s first name was “Mac.” I had indeed never heard anything else. “No,” she told me, “that’s just a nickname. What is his real name?” I stood my ground with “Mac,” so that afternoon I was sent home to get his “real” name and report back.
      I also recall that a short time before our son was born, my father said to me, “I have just one request: Please don't name him ‘Marion’.” …We didn’t.

—Jon McGrew