The Freds of the world are standing up for their name. You might call it a Fred-eration of sorts. The FRED Society. And it’s their 30th anniversary! Making the World a Better Place for All Freds since 1984.
The mastermind, or ‘Head Fred’ of this movement is Fred Daniel of Cave Creek, Arizona. His home office and garage double as ‘FredQuarters.’
A graphic artist, Fred churns out bumper stickers and T-shirts with slogans such as ‘Infredible!,’ ‘I Wed a Fred,’ and ‘Not All Freds Are Cavemen’ for all the Freds of the world.
Daniel founded The FRED Society in 1984 as a way to address the negative connotations that seemed to be associated with the name Fred.
Back then, Fred found potential members by pouring over phone books and gathering Fred names and addresses, by hand. That was in the day of no computers and Google.
Fred sent recruitment letters to hundreds of Freds. Luckily, one of the letters landed on the desk of a Fred at the Los Angeles Times. He passed it onto Lynn Smith, a Times Staff writer. Lynn wrote a great story about The FRED Society that appeared in 1986 on the front page of the LA Time’s Saturday ‘Calendar’ section. Once that story broke, Fred was inundated with hundreds of newspaper, radio and television interviews. He quit his job at the advertising agency and became a full time ‘professional Fred.’
Fast forward to today. Over time, about 7,000 people have paid to become members or ‘Full Fledged Freds.’ This group is not just for men named Fred or Frederick or something similar. Women with names such as Winfred, Freddie or Fredda are also welcome. The FRED Society just recently had a female Fred join named Fredrique. All Fred are welcome!
“Initially, I was trying to improve the image that Fred came to be associated with,” says the Head Fred. “There seems to be a preconception of what a Fred should be – bib overalls, bumbling and goofy.”
Some famous Freds haven’t helped the image. Fred Mertz on “I Love Lucy” wasn’t exactly the king of cool. And “one of the biggest culprits is Fred Flintstone,” according to Daniel.
His favorite Fred is Astaire. “He has such class,” says Daniel. “There’s no negative image with him.” These days, famous Freds seem to be fewer.
The FRED Credo: We, the members of the FRED Society, are dedicated to preserving and upholding the honorable name of Fred* for all posterity. We sing the praises and condemn the misuse of the name Fred via the press, radio, television, the internet and the waring of funny tee shirts.
*that goes for Frederick, Frederic, Fredric, Frederica, Winnifred, Freddie, Freddy, and all other ‘Fred’ derived names.
We pledge to always be Fred and Proud!