How did he get the name “Spike”?
Gummere was born in Boston in 1939 to Francis Barton Gummere and Dorothy Lippincott Gummere.
He got his nickname, “Spike,” in a bar in Harvard Square when he was just two hours old. It was a family friend who named him.
“It’s a true story. My father’s name was Francis Barton Gummere. My great-grandfather’s name was Francis Barton Gummere. I’m Francis Barton Gummere. My dad was called Bart. ‘I don’t want him to be called Bart, because then it’ll be Bart Junior, and I hate Junior,’ my dad told his friend. ‘Frank, Fran, and Francis are out of the question. What do I do?’”
The friend, who worked for the Boston Railroad, made a suggestion: Call him Spike. “I’ve been Spike ever since.”