‘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?