January 19, 2009


No this is not a Victor/Victoria type of thing, but there is a line of demarcation in my life, and it happened in 1973 when I started college one month short of my 17th birthday. Up to then I was known as Andrew as my dad was Andy. All of a sudden I was a college man and everyone started calling me Andy. Except family as my dad still had claim to that version of the moniker Andre. Over time, some people like my brothers switched to Andy, but my parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and old family friends still called me Andrew.

It is a pretty good barometer as to how long someone has known me.

My wife gets a kick out of sales people who used to call the house to speak to Andrew and try to get my work number from her stating that just last week Andrew had said call me back as soon as you have the info I need. Usually stock brokers who tried that. It never worked. My wife is a quick study and a great listener. (She once shut down a sales call pushing a debit card on her by saying it would eliminate her ability to play the float. She hung up and asked if she said it right. Lord, you have to love a woman like that).

But I find now that I am a man of many names:

  • To a nine year boy and a six year old girl in Virginia, I am and always will be, Uncle Dude.
  • To a six year old in Branson, I am now "boulder-belly". My wife loves that one. She thinks it might actually make me want to lose weight. But being a guy and having no one I am trying to impress with my physique, I am OK with it. In the right context, it could sound strong and manly. I just cannot think of a context now. Or ever for that matter.
  • To various current or former telecom executives in the NY/NJ area, I am sometimes remembered as the Big Dog.
And those are just the nicknames I can talk about. I have been called things I would not repeat in this blog (including by a former Attorney General of the US).

Like a dust ball under a sofa, I gain these over time. It marks the passage of life. Andy/Andrew, a boy who was once a man, a man who is still a boy.

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