As a young man, I adopted the nickname My-KO in homage to my grandmother. I felt a special kinship with her which added fuel to my inspiration to start my own business. The persona of My-KO was part of a mythology that I invented during this time of boundless creativity and growth. As that chapter in my life has now closed, the My-KO character must be retired in order for the next chapter to begin.
My grandmother was an enormous, terrifying woman. She spoke with a thick Okie accent. Her family was from Arkansas and Grampa was from the Ozarks. My grandmother was a bitter, mean old lady to nearly everyone but me. She would gather me up into her bosom and call me out by a name that only she could pronounce: “My-KO” (that’s how Michael sounds in a thick, Redneck accent).
Chester and Marie (my grandparents) were survivors of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. To this day, the simple wisdom of Granny’s words echo within me. This woman had borne witness to horrible suffering in her life. She had survived the most catastrophic economic downturn in the history of western industrialized civilization. The hardships she endured are incomprehensible to a person whose only context in life is late 20th century American pampering. Her life was defined by meeting necessity and overcoming obstacles.
I adopted the moniker of “My-KO” as a salute to the resolute, irrepressible spirit of my Granny. It was my brand and a badge of honor for many years. Dozens of friends and clients across the nation knew me only as My-KO.
The time that I bore that name, that period in my life, is now gone. The person I was, is no more. Those dozens of people that were once close to me have all gone away. All that remains is the scar and the name.
All of the legal paperwork, depositions, interviews, property seizures and relocations are done. I’ve let go of all of the people that have long since let go of me. The final step in closing that chapter in my life is retiring the name.
I love you, Granny.