• jeffreyapfel

What's in a Name?

Updated: Jan 25

We get asked quite a bit about where the name Cracker Box Palace came from. There is a short version at the history link but there is more to the story.

Our part of the tail goes back to before Cracker Box Palace moved to its current location at Alasa Farms. The founders of the shelter, Cheri Roloson and Burt Madison, were leasing space for their growing charitable enterprise at a nearby farm where the buildings they were leasing were, to be charitable, a bit derelict. Cheri remembered a song by George Harrison written and performed after he left the Beatles. The name of the song is Cracker Box Palace.

Why did Cheri make the connection to that song? For one thing she felt that the lyrics were appropriate. Here is a link to the lyrics to the song:

George Harrison - Crackerbox Palace Lyrics | AZLyrics.com

Note especially these lines:

I welcome you to Crackerbox Palace
We've been expecting you
You bring such joy in Crackerbox Palace
No matter where you roam know our love is true

Those lines were completely appropriate for the start-up shelter and they remain appropriate today.

It also helped that the buildings housing the animals were kind of ramshackle. According to the authorities on the internet the term "cracker box" is a "sometimes derogatory" term for a "small and badly constructed house", usually old and not located in an elegant neighborhood.

But so what if the buildings needed a little work? The animals were happy, and so it became for them, in Cheri's view, a palace. As Cheri said of the shelter "here, the animals rule". That's one of the reasons you see the image of a crown so often in our signage.