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What’s in a Name?

Val halla (val-hal-a) n. Norse mythology, the great hall of immortality in which the souls of warriors slain heroically were received by Odin and enshrined.

Val’s halla (val’s-hal-a) n. The modest hall of mortals in which the “soul” of music lovers seeking contentment is welcomed by experts and fulfilled. The bottom line is that I have always loved puns and knew for many years that if I ever owned a business, I couldn’t resist calling it Val’s halla — a rather clever play, I thought, on the mythical “hall of the Gods.”

To complicate the nonsense, back in the 70’s there was a Halla — she was a white German Shepherd mix. When she was given to me, I didn’t know what to name her. Someone suggested Halla.

“There’s no such word,” I said.

“So what?” they said.

“That way she’ll be Val’s Halla.”

“I thought about buying a boat and calling it Val’s hulla — but that’s kind of silly.”