Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Thank you very much for contributing to our June Membership Drive! If you didn't have a chance to donate, please do so at any time. We look forward to your support!

Tell all the Kyles you know: Texas is gathering people of the same name to break a record


Kyle Fair in Kyle, Texas - if your name is Kyle, you might want to head down there tomorrow. That's when they try to break the world record for the most same-named people gathered in one town at the same time. We have a Kyle here - reporter Kyle Gassiott with Troy Public Radio. Kyle, I've never heard the story of your name.

KYLE GASSIOTT, BYLINE: Well, Scott, I think it may be Scottish or Irish. If you look up the meaning of the name Kyle, the phrase fair and handsome pops up. So yeah. (Inaudible).

SIMON: Don't rub it in, but go ahead. OK. Yes.

GASSIOTT: (Laughter) Well, you know, this may be the best-looking place in the country with so many Kyles. And Kyle can also be a female name. So bigger the chance of breaking that record.

SIMON: Kyle, do me a favor. Hold up your phone for a minute. Ready?


SIMON: (Shouting) Hey, Kyle.

People come running?

GASSIOTT: Well, not yet, but I'm going to try that on Sunday. That's when we're going to try to break that Guinness World record of people with the same name. The last record was set in Bosnia-Herzegovina when they counted Ivans in one place. Now, I spoke with communication director Rachel Sonnier here in Kyle, and she says there's a name that we definitely don't want to hear this weekend.

RACHEL SONNIER: We have a sworn enemy in the Ivans. No (laughter). We are hoping that we beat the Ivans that currently hold the record right now, with 2,325 Ivans. We're hoping that we get at least 2,326 Kyles.

SIMON: So what should we know about the town of Kyle?

GASSIOTT: Well, first, Scott, it's a wonderful name for a city. But second...

SIMON: (Laughter) Yes.

GASSIOTT: ...In addition to bringing in people from all over the world named Kyle, they want more people to know about this town, which is about the same distance between the popular Texas town of Austin and San Antonio. I met Julie Albertson this week, Scott. She owns the Texas Pie Company in one of the city's oldest buildings. She says the festival is great, but it's not like Kyle, with a population of around - somewhere around 52,000 - is a secret.

JULIE ALBERTSON: Even though we've grown exponentially in the last few years with - it's just seen a growth explosion, it still has a very hometown feel. You still know your neighbors. You still have an opportunity to be yourself.

GASSIOTT: So, Scott, there are 16 different flavors of pie here. And guess what? If your name is Kyle this week, Scott, you win.

ALBERTSON: If you come in and prove you have a Kyle driver's license, not Kyle from Kyle, Texas, but a name Kyle, we'll give you a discount on a pie.

SIMON: A discount? You've come all the way for a discount on a slice of pie, Kyle.

GASSIOTT: (Laughter).

SIMON: Oh, mercy. So what else will you Kyles be doing?

GASSIOTT: Well, this is the Lone Star State, Scott. So there will be contests for the best margaritas and the best barbecue ribs. And bands will be playing on the festival stage nearly every hour. But there's one thing you have to remember, Scott - is that if you're planning on being part of the gathering of Kyles on Sunday at 4 p.m., Sonnier says there are some rules. You have to show a legal ID, and variations of Kyle - such as Kylie, Kiel, Kyler, Kylar, Skyler - won't work - just simple K-Y-L-E.

SONNIER: It has to be their first, and it has to be their legal name. It can't be a nickname, or - even if that's what you've gone by all your life, it has to be your first and your legal name.

GASSIOTT: So, Scott, my question is, when are you changing your name and joining us down here?

SIMON: You know, we - excuse me. We have several Scotts here at NPR - Scott Detrow, Scott Horsley - we are planning a Scott fest for Scotland, and we're going to say haggis for everybody.

GASSIOTT: Go for it.

SIMON: I'm not sure we'll get anyone to come, but Kyle Gassiott is with Troy Public Radio. He joined us from Kyle Fair in Kyle, Texas. I've never said Kyle so many times in a sentence. Thank you, Kyle.

GASSIOTT: It felt good, didn't it?

SIMON: (Laughter).

GASSIOTT: Thank you, Scott.

SIMON: Felt good, didn't it? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.
Kyle Gassiott