“It’s a left-hand turn here,” Andy Jones-Wilkins (AJW) points to his wife from the passenger seat. They’re after lunch and nearly halfway into a 10-hour day of driving. The family is traveling back from a Christmas visit to their oldest son in Durango, Colorado, and a later stop in Arizona, to their home in Wilson, Arkansas. It’s an almost 1,500-mile drive.
I’ve waited a decade to ask, and immediately press AJW on the most basic question. “Andy Wilkins married Shelly Jones in New York state in 1991,” he said of his last name. “We wondered what we’d do for the kids, but we kicked that can down the road and they can figure it out. We didn’t give them middle names, but they’re 23, 21, and 18 now and kind of like, ‘Why the hell did you do that? What if we want to marry someone with a hyphenated last name?’”