What’s In A Name?

My younger brother was Bob Owens. I admired him for many reasons, one being his simple, easy to spell name. Unlike mine, Jack Owens.

When I made my first all star baseball team in West Chester, Pennsylvania, playing first base in my teens, I was introduced over the PA system as Bill Owens. Adding further intrigue, the league itself was named the Midget League. I was Bill Owens  in the Midget League.

In the back of my senior yearbook at American University, where accomplishments were listed, my name shone forth as Hack Owens. From that time forward, over beers and grab butt, my brother called me Hack.

I took a slew of photographs of my 6 children when they were glowing up. I was always getting film developed. Remember film? Once, dropping off a role at a lab, a smiling, nice lady said, “Name please?” “Jack Owens,” I replied, clearly. “Thank you Mr. Morgan,” she said.

Unlike my brother, who never had his name mangled or dropped into the abyss, I experienced a bevy of names over the decades. Picking up a prescription, the pharmacist could not locate my envelop. Finally, after looking through dozens, he triumphantly proclaimed, “Here, I’ve found it Mr. Jackos.”

Collecting concert tickets at will call, I became Mr. Orange. I have been drop kicked as the following persons at various venues:  Jack Klieg, Mr. Hans, Jack Alleno, Jack Zees, and Jackowens.

When I retired from the FBI after 30 years as an agent, I was not worried about a bureaucratic snafu in the paper work until I noted the name on the retirement documents:  Jack Owens.  Jack Owens?  Who in the heck is he?


10 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. Hey Jack, I can relate. I am frequently assumed to be female. One voter told a friend, I don’t know Ashley Curry, but I voted for her. At least I got some of the female votes because of the confusion.

    Once after a late arrival at Quantico, I walked into a dorm room with a young female agent preparing for bed. I said hello and thought this must be the “new bureau”. She did not find that humorous and kicked me out. I went back to the desk and finally was assigned another room.

    Enjoy hearing more stories

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jack, I truly empathize about the mangled name. As I progressed each year in grade school my teachers often called me Helen. I have no idea why since I only got into a bit of trouble in each grade. Surely they didn’t mean ‘hellion’!? Shirley

    Sent from my iPad



  3. Well, I wasn’t that particular young female agent, but I WAS in NAC 78-15 with Ashley! (). As for you, Jack, I always thought of you as Gary. Gary Owens. I just realized that Gary Owens was the announcer on Laugh In…anyway, nice to know you both :-).


  4. I feel your pain. Recently, on a business call, I was asked to repeat my name.

    It’s “Jay”.

    “Jane?” asked the lady on the other end. Typically, I’m especially polite and professional on calls, but this was just ridiculous.

    “Do I sound like a Jane?”

    A mild, less than genuine apology followed. Most often I get “Jake?”, like I snuck in a stealth “K” sound. I get junk mail for James O. Thompson. Have no idea what my middle name is there. Also, inexplicably, “James Miller”.

    I don’t mumble. I don’t stutter. I enunciate. People are “lazy listening,” as I call it.


    1. Hi Jay. You have my complete sympathy and understanding. I also say to myself: I did not number or stutter. I speak clearly. Still my names gets thrown into a mental and verbal meat grinder. The most common is Owen instead of Owens. I have friends who’s last names are Owen, and they are called Owens. What to do?


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