What’s in a name? An Al by any other name still blogs as sweet.

‘Tis time to reveal a deep, dark secret about your favorite blogger, Big Al. I’m not really Al, I’m Victor. Well that’s not entirely true, but my official name on all important documents is Victor A. Hood. I’ve not been deceiving you with any intent. There’s a very uninteresting story behind this. But you’re already this far, and I heard the Facebook website is down, so what have you got to lose?

June 28th, 1943 was smack in the middle of the year, but also right in the middle of World War II. There were distractions enough for everyone. But soon enough it came time for little “Alfie” to be born. That’s what my family called me until I was a pre-teen. When you stop chortling you may continue. There was already a boy, my older brother, on the scene. My mother desperately wanted a girl. Of course, this was well before you could find out what sex you were going to be before you hatched. Probably a good thing for me, as abortion was an option then also, just not a legal one. The name she had picked out was Victoria. Close, mom, but no stogie. So those of you who have braved this story up to now see where this is going. Disappointed, but not to be denied, she changed it to Victor A. Hood.

But why do I go with my middle name? At that time my only grandfather was named “Al.” He was a genuine gentleman through and through and revered by everyone in the family. So much so that I wrote a blog entirely devoted to it. It was in honor of him that I was awarded this moniker. And so I was known from thence forward.

But the oddest thing about this story is that for many years I was called by both names. Back in the early working years of my life, I was in the process of changing jobs. I had an interview with the Sales Manager of a major company which was going pretty well. He referred to me as “Vic” based on what he saw on the resume. I figured I would get that straightened out later if I got the job. When you’re interviewing you tread carefully. But to my surprise he quickly took me right across the hall to meet his boss, the General Manager. He introduced me to the boss as Vic. No way I was going to embarrass him in front of his boss by correcting him, so I went with it. For the 22 years I was with that company, I was Vic to the employees and all of my clients.

The only problem that arose from this, other than the obvious confusion for my poor family and longtime friends, was when we would take clients to dinner. During the course of the meal, my wife would refer to places she had gone with Al. It didn’t take long before you could see the client and spouse looking puzzled and thinking, “wow, these two really must have an open marriage, she goes around with this dude, Al, and Vic doesn’t even seem bothered by it.” I wish I had a nickel for every time I had to backtrack that one.

So I guess the moral to the story is, except for being in the Witness Protection Program, pick a name and stick with it. Kinda makes you appreciate what the boy named Sue must have gone through. There, now wasn’t that a sweet blog?

30 thoughts on “What’s in a name? An Al by any other name still blogs as sweet.

  1. Your mom must have been a hoot……Love Victor A……. My daughter for years had a crush on George Clooney. Comes time to think of a name for soon to arrive son, She suggested Greorge…..my wonderful son-in-law did not think that was a good idea, knowing of her crush…. Later she suggested Everett, and that was a winner with her husband, so we have a fabulous grandson, Everett, For those of you out there who might also been entranced by George, you know that Everett was the name of his character in “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?” Touche!…..

    • Sneaky, those Texas gals! Of all his roles, and there were many good ones, that role is my favorite. Same for the other players. It all just clicked in that movie…..plus the jargon of the day was entertaining. Hope you are doing well upstate, sorry we couldn’t mesh schedules this time. Maybe see you later this year!?

  2. Don’t know how I missed this post ( scandalous ) but it was a delight to stumble if, if rather a late one! I just laughed out loud when you told that story about your wife referring to “Al” in front of your puzzled guests because all who know you, even through your blog, know what a devoted couple you are!

  3. Glad I stopped by to say hello after your visit to my blog! I love learning how people were named or got their nickname or go by a middle name. My mother had two daughters so she wanted her third to be a son. Had I been a boy I would be Ralph Andrew. Will check out some of your posts while I am here.

    • Welcome back. It’s been a while since we heard from you. Thank goodness you mother relented. You just don’t strike me as a Ralph! (he, he, he)

  4. I think I knew this!!! We might have discussed how my middle name is Faye but my first name is Clarice (which only the government seems to recognize and I am good with that!). My story is a bit more boring….my brother who was 18 months older than me could not say Clarice so they went with the easier name. I am kind of grateful.

  5. Oh, and the Johnny Cash video …I absolutely love it, but it also makes me really emotional…my uncle used to love him, and this is a song I sent him via email to cheer him up when he was fighting cancer…he died shortly after, but I know he’d want me to be laughing along to the song like he used to :)…(he’d be drinking a glass of whiskey as well!)

    • Sorry I touched off an emotion. But as time passes and we hear these songs, or smell certain smells, or see someone who reminds us of a person in our past, it becomes kind of a bittersweet remembrance that makes us feel the warmth of that person’s presence.

  6. Hi Al…or should I say VictoriA?!
    What a great story, and nice to know more about you 🙂 Your poor mum, having to change her chosen girl-name!
    ..My dad named me Carly as he fancied Carly Simon at the time – hmm, not such an interesting story!! Not sure why my mum let him choose the name 😛
    Hope you are well
    Take care

  7. Interesting secret, Al! Mind you, I never thought your real name was Al. I thought all us famous NBFP bloggers used pseudonyms to protect ourselves from the attention of our millions of fans – some of whom are a half bubble off plumb.

    • That’s an excellent point, all I need is some crazed follower obsessing over my exceedingly good looks! Thanks, Margy…..if that’s your real name……Hmmmm…..


  8. Glad to finally have that cleared up. Being English, I was fine correcting your spelling (you may recall) (and, being English) (thoroughly embarrassed when you explained why I was wrong) but I never liked to ask why you had an alias.

    My own Dad was christened George Harry but known by his middle name. It upset me a great deal when he was in hospital at the end and the nurses called him George. Being English, not only was I upset they called him by the wrong name, I was upset that they didn’t call him Mr Mosley. It was such a relief when he died.

    Hahahaha! Being English, I also have a warped sense of humour.

    Enjoyed your post, Vicky xx

  9. I always knew you had some deep dark secret to share Al, er I mean Victor. That’s a pretty funny story actually. Victor is definitely better for a boy than Sue!

    • Thanks, Tricia. Pretty bad when your life is so boring that this is your deep dark secret, unless you count the second secret family I have, but I’ll save that for another blog.

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