1990 was a big year for Bo Jackson. The Bo Knows thing was everywhere. 20/20 profiled him. He hit four consecutive home runs. He ran up the wall. He ran over people. And he inspired Steve Jackson, an avid sports fan from the north England county of Yorkshire, a man who would watch enraptured any game of cricket or rugby or tennis or maybe even American football on the telly, to insist that his pregnant wife agree to name their child Bo Jackson if it was a boy, and to name it Bo Jackson if it was a girl. OK, she said.
“But,” says Beau Jackson, “my mom went for the French spelling because it was a bit more feminine, I guess.”
Beau Jackson is a 28-year-old London-based writer covering the international additive manufacturing industry, which these days very much involves all the wild 3-D stuff happening in Auburn’s college of engineering. She comes to America a lot for trade shows and stuff. She introduces herself. People look at her, and then go ‘you mean like…’
“It’s blessed me,” she says. “It’s taken me places, because people think it’s so cool.”
She thinks it’s so cool, too. Always has, really. She has this wonderfully unique connection to this famous, insanely talented American athlete, and it’s just been this understood thing in her life for as long as she can remember.
“I feel like it’s always been there, but it was when I was maybe in my early teens that I kind of got a little bit obsessed with it,” Beau Jackson says. “So I started buying Bo Jackson baseball cards. And, you know, there’s the Gameboy game he has, ‘Bo Jackson’s Hit and Run.'”
In May, at this huge additive manufacturing thing in Detroit, she added a Bo Jackson LEGO Minifigure to her collection courtesy an Auburn rep who’d worked with her on a story.
“It’s the nicest thing coming over to the U.S. and having people instantly feel like they know who I am,” she says. “It’s great at trade shows and everything when I go over for my work.
“I’ve managed to build relationships with people based on just my name.”
The question is… can they? Can the two of them build a relationship on just their name? Will he read this? Will he care?
Will Bo ever know Beau?
“I’ve thought about writing him a letter and being, like, ‘hey, I have the same name as you,'” she laughs. “But I don’t know what I’d say other than that, and that might be a little bit creepy. So I’ve started following him on Twitter, and I’m hoping one day we could start tweeting with each other.”
Her Twitter bio?
“Beau does know.”
“Maybe one day we’ll get to meet each other,” she says, “because me getting a picture with him would be like a dream.”
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