Sammie, Sammie, Sammie!

One of my readers kindly brought to my attention a disaster in the making. I don’t know if any of you have been following Angela Woodall’s recent interest in the Lake Merritt Monster, which, honestly, I had never even heard mention of until she wrote about it. Anyway, after an unsuccessful monster hunt, she decided it needed a name:

Seconds seemed like an eternity until the creature dove silently back into the depths. Had I imagined it all? Was it an optical illusion created by the waterfall, the moonlight?

Benny paddled urgently to reach the patch of water that a short time before had held the answer to one of Oakland’s most persistent legends. But the apparition had disappeared.

If only I had been able to call to it by name. Then it struck me. The creature had none.

Thus my plea to join in naming the monster by e-mailing your suggestions to The top five suggested names will be posted online June 27 and readers will be asked to choose a favorite. The No. 1 will be given to the creature.

Suggestions in response to Woodall’s request included Merrie, Oakey, and Nancy Nadel. (I did not send in a suggestion, BTW). Anyway, if you scroll about midway down the Trib’s homepage, you’ll find a poll where you can vote on what to christen the alleged Lake Merritt monster.

Currently, the ultra lame and also extremely awkward to say “Merritzilla” is winning by a huge margin, about 79 votes ahead of the second place “Felix.” Felix would be an okay name, I suppose, but personally, I favor “Sammie,” in honor of Samuel Merritt, 19th century Mayor of Oakland and creator of Oakland’s jewel, Lake Merritt. Poor Sammie only has 13% of the vote right now, 115 votes out of the lead, but I was hoping we could change that. So please, readers, take a second to click through and vote in the poll, because I don’t want to have to hear the word “Merrittzilla” ever, ever again.

And hurry! Voting closes the 14th!

8 thoughts on “Sammie, Sammie, Sammie!

  1. Joanna/OnTheGoJo

    LOVE the graphic!!!

    Sammie is good, but Merrittzilla isn’t sooooo bad… I originally wanted to vote for Horace, as in Horace Carpentier. But I doubt many would get that and Sammie ties in with Samuel Merritt so it makes more sense.

    There was another creature sighting reported this week in the water at a golf course in Fremont –

  2. oaklandhappenings

    Eric–LMAO!! I think it really should that something in the name should have an Oakland symbolization or connection. However, alas, I can’t think of a good one right now!

  3. Helena

    It won’t let me vote! I clicked the link and went to the Trib’s page, and it displays the vote results and an option to cancel my vote, even though I haven’t voted. It looks like the Trib’s vote is rigged!

  4. Oh Pleeze

    The only poll on the page asks if I surf the web at work.
    something’s done busticated.

  5. Angela Woodall

    Thanks for spreading the word.
    The names for the monster were submitted by readers during a two-week period. Anyway, the final chapter in the story will be Saturday’s Oakland Tribune. For more details in the meantime, link to the first story at; the second, and more detailed one, is at I am sorry so sorry the voting procedure is so opaque. It’s not rigged. Just badly designed.