Mr. O is ‘Oberon’ or sometimes Oberon Osiris, longtime Tarot reader and Witch. My real name is Alan but for various reasons I’ve used several different names in social media or my creative endeavors. Some of this will be covered in a future blog. I had serious consequences to using my real name in new media in the early ‘90s. Like job security and arsons around my property.
Later, on Facebook, I adopted ‘Adam La Torre’ which is a name I made up as a ten-year-old in the mid ‘60s when I used to draw pictures with my older sibling. He was ‘Dane McCallister’ and by far the better artist. Years later I didn’t want my name on the FB account, so Adam was a type of pseudonym of my real name, as my last name starts with ‘T’.
Over the years I’ve had a variety of names that suggested my Tarot work or other creative involvements. The direct predecessor of our Oracular business was a little project employing my French surname with Tarot for a nice alliterative sound. But Tarot business aside, I had one unfortunate name as a worker.
As a kid my folks and most others called me ‘Al’, only teachers would use my full name or some other adults. I came to dislike it as I grew older. Colloquialisms like ‘Big Al’ and ‘Uncle Al’ did not help. But it was my early work era, at a popular K-Mart that really cemented my feelings for being called Al. I was 18 and a silly stock boy who had just graduated High School and this was an upgrade in hours and pay from my first job, but I was now “Al T from Toys”.
By the way, that first job was at a local branch of the Public Library – where everyone called me ‘Alan’. I persevered for a year and a half at K-Mart and had some hilarious hijinks as a stock boy and a pretty girl who worked there called me “Articulate Al” which was a lot better than Al T from Toys.
Later I was in college and met some friendly anarchists who were forming a theater group, the infamous “Freezer Theatre” of the Cass Corridor area of Detroit. Seems like doing Blue-Light specials on the PA at K-Mart had given me enough confidence in my vocal abilities to try out for the theater. In my second play I had the lead role in the absurdist production of “Spaghetti with Portrait Heads of Nero”. I did say they were anarchist, but this was very heady and liberating for me. I brought my inclinations to learn as well as keyboard/musical skills to their productions and they were appreciative. Where else can you be in a play titled “The Ritual for Protection against Pterodactyls”, in your underwear?
While I never had an official actor type name I was occasionally referred to as ‘Alan On’ or ‘Al-Anon’ which is funny since I’ve always been more of a non-drinker or not a great drinker, even as a young adult.
We parted ways eventually. We ruffled feathers over the theater space when I wanted to use it during my work with the US Census in 1980. I was in between a lot of things and the economy was horrible, so it was important to have this job, but being anarchists, renting a theater/space for anarchist type plays and entertainment they were firm on not allowing a government worker to use it. Even me. This would impress upon me more, years later in the Pagan community, but that is a story for another blog.
I left the theater stuff but not all my creative works, writing poetry or stories mostly, and later in the ‘80s doing original computer animation work with early Apple systems. My Tarot business which was about this time; also sold personalized greeting cards with the Apple color printing and art software. Having a family, buying a home, supporting Banshee and our son’s education process also kept me busy, but the final big change in my name and identity came when I noticed the emerging Pagan community in the late summer of 1987. Just before the Harmonic Convergence.
And that too, is a tale I will tell in a future blog, as well as more details to my lifetime in Tarot reading and the various writings I have published. Banshee has always been the more creative and better person by far, even before earning her bachelor’s in journalism, and I am thankful for all the tips and advice she has given me in writing and editing. So come back for future entries as I peel back the layers of Mr. O and his Oberonificant Onion!