In Memory of Alpha Dawn Kness

From Rick Albertson, aka rixter:

Alla loved to play with words, and she knew the power that names can hold. That's why she accumulated so many of them over the years. She was a member of several different online communities, and many of us knew her by the nicknames she used in each. She went by different names to different people at different times, though it was always clear that she was exactly who she was. The names might have been different, but the woman was still the same. I teased her gently once in Brainstorms about building up a stockpile just in case she ever needed an extra name or two. This was her response...


14-AUG-1999 16:03
Alpha Dawn "Alla" Kness (Wa-Hya) (amberglas)

In another space, rixter mentioned me and my ever-increasing number of names.... The "why" of that is I hated my name growing up. People came up with all kinds of "cute" variations of it. In high school, I vowed that when I hit college, I would use another name, by golly!

When I was in junior high, we visited a Swinomish chief and his family. Those trips became our only vacations. Our father could drink to his heart's content, and my sister and I could at least get away, riding bikes on the hills of the reservation with the daughter that was our age. The chief gave all of us "names". Mine is "Morning Star". I've used it in various other communities that encourage such self identification.

Then, there's "Alla". I've probably mentioned it's history before, but, it's Russian. I started out with one "L" until a Soviet suggested I use 2. So, it's been that way ever since. I've used that name since 1966. I switched to that at my job in Portland. Some of the warehouse guys would face East when they talked with me on the telephone....

Then, there's "Amberglas". She's a sorceress in a fantasy novel. She's a "good" one. She makes a lot of mistakes in her spells, but things turn out okay, in the end. I've used "Desiree", "Faye", "Danika" and "Iris". It's intersting to me that my youngest grandchild has "Faye" -- with the identical spelling -- as one of her middle names. I never told her mother about that. "Danika" is a form of "Dawn", my middle name. Irises are one of my favorite flowers. I removed some corms from the house and put them in a pot. They put out leaves, but they haven't bloomed, yet. Maybe they're waiting for another house.

Then, there's "Th'Rayah". In Lebanese, it's the name of a constallation in their night sky. That's my dance name. I learned about it from a Lebanese co-worker [who makes the *best* baklava!] when I asked for some suggestions.

Ah, yes. Almost forgot about Coco de la Fontaine. A group of us from the House went to Ravenna Park in college. It's in a ravine. Lots of trees, and a stream. One of the guys took pictures of me, sitting on one of the boulders. [No, they weren't "art" photos...] He came up with that name.

I've also been called "Mom" -- by my children, and their friends; "Mother" by at least one hockey player. I have a puck and a photo he autographed that way. [Lots of people heard him call me that when he was admonishing me about how fast I'd driven that day...he was only 18... I thought it was amusing.]

I've come full circle to using "Alpha" in my every day life. I no longer associate it with my "father". It becomes a topic of conversation with people who know about wolves. When I remember my multiple connections to wolves, I have a *great* day.

Almost forgot about "Tarikka". "Tariq" is a male name meaning "Star of the Morning".
My name is "Alpha Dawn" because I am the first-born, and I was born at 1:10 AM. And, no, there are no Beta's or Omega's in the family.

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page last updated May 2, 2000 2:18 pm EST

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