I discovered lately that a co-worker’s middle name is Wanda. “It was my Polish grandmother’s name,” she said. “I told my mother: why did you name me Kathleen Wanda? And she said: just be glad I didn’t name you Wanda Kathleen.”
I had an aunt Wanda. She was full-blooded Polish. My grandmother was Polish, and her first husband was Polish, so her first three children (my half-aunts and half-uncle) were full-blooded Polish too: Maryann, Wanda, and Tony.
Great-aunt Wanda I met only once or twice. She was a handsome Polish woman who lived in northern California, and she has many descendants in the current generation.
Does anyone name his/her children Wanda these days? It’s an evocative name.
The only famous Wanda I can think of is Wanda Toscanini Horowitz. She was the temperamental daughter of the temperamental orchestra conductor Arturo Toscanini, and she married the pianist Vladimir Horowitz.
Here is a brief YouTube video of Vladimir Horowitz playing a Rachmaninoff prelude. As the camera circles, you can see Wanda lounging on the couch, listening: