Oscar Myre passes on the tradition
Three generations of Oscar Myres get together for a photo at Oscar V’s first soccer game, coached by Oscar III and IV. (And yes, they won.)
By Joe Grove
Singer Shirley Ellis introduced the country to “The Name Game” with her “Bonana fanna fo” rime scheme designed to turn any name into a poem. (Google it. Your kids will love it.)
But everyone faced with the birth of a baby must play a name game of sorts. Shall we look
for something new, something unique? Shall we maintain a tra- dition, or even maybe a unique tradition?
For Oscar Myre IV, the decision was unquestionably to maintain a unique tradition and so, there is indeed an Oscar Myre V, who proudly wears the family name at Cedar River Montessori School.
They Myres live in Renton/ Issaquah; that is, they have a Renton address but live in the Issaquah School District.
To avoid confusion in this story, Roman numerals will be used as identifiers.
III said he has lived in the same area for 30 years, though he didn’t go to school here.
“I’m from the South,” he said. “South Tacoma.”
Both III and IV are self-em- ployed, III as a Farmers Insur- ance agent and IV owns OM Originals, where he markets, creates and develops websites.
“I’ve been doing it since last century,” IV said. “Since 1998.”
Both claim the name is a great icebreaker.
IV said when he introduces him- self as Oscar Myre, most people’s immediate response is, “Really?”
“I go, ‘No, we took that off 20 years ago, because it’s too long,’” he said. “Yeah, people never for- get the name Oscar Myre.
“It’s been fun. It’s been kind of a neat thing for remembrance. You can’t run away from it, so just embrace it.”
IV did admit to a bit of a draw- back with the name.
“If I’m calling on new people and say my name is Oscar Myre,
I have a difficult time getting past the gatekeeper, because they think
“People sometimes say
their names apologetically,
when it is unique, and I say
I’m not making fun of their
name, as my name is Oscar
Myre. That kind of opens
it up and people want to
share their woes about being
called this or that.”
— Oscar Meyer
Fourth generation to carry on family name
it is the first of April,” he said. Both fathers said when it came
time to name their boys, there was no discussion about keeping the tradition.
“It was never up for discus- sion,” III said. “We wanted an Oscar Myre.”
IV added, “Growing up, some- times I wondered if I was going to continue the tradition, but there was no doubt it was the right thing to do.”
Amusing incidents related to their names have occurred over the years. III said he had a client who had been in an accident call him.
“I’ve been paying you a lot of money over the years,” the man said. “Please tell me I have insur- ance. I just found out my adjuster is Sherwood Forest and my agent is Oscar Myre. Where does Farm- ers come in here?”
III said he has been with Farm- ers for 35 years.
“A lady called me yesterday who I had insured 30 years ago. ‘Oscar, are you still in business?’ she asked.
“Who did you call,” I asked. “How did I answer the phone? I guess I am.”
IV said he is drawn to people with unique names. He went
to Maywood Middle School and Liberty High School with Mercedes Benz.
“She was a year ahead of me, so I couldn’t catch up with a Mercedes,” he said. “I just moved back to the community, and one of the first people I met was John Glenn.
“People sometimes say their names apologeti- cally, when it is unique, and I say I’m not making fun of their name, as my name is Oscar Myre,”
he added. “That kind of opens it up and people want to share their woes about being called this or that.”
One thing parents can’t predict when naming a child is what the kids on the school ground are go- ing to do with it.
“I went to school with the same kids, so they were over it by the second grade. No nicknames, just the song,” IV said. “Some people really apologize nowadays, but they can’t resist singing the song, even today. It’s fine.
“At Liberty, I think it was my junior or senior year, we had a substitute teacher who was read- ing roll call and he said, ‘Oscar Myre, I bet you’ve had a lot of flack for your name growing up.’”
I said, “What could you be talking about. I have no idea.”
The class was quiet and the teacher said, “People don’t pick on you for your name?”
“No, why would they do that?” IV responded.
“There’s a meat packing company in the Midwest by that name,” the teacher said.
“’Oh really?’ I said. ‘I hadn’t heard of that.’ He went on to the next person and the class erupted.”
IV said his parents knew what could go on at a school ground and offered to let him use his middle name, Robert.
“Robert, or Bob, is a fine name, but I was never a Robert or a Bob,” he said. “There has been fun made, but I’ve had a heck of a lot more fun with the name.”
When asked how the name might impact his son, IV said the Oscar Mayer products have changed over the years. The company has dropped the wiener song and the bologna song, and the modern school student is going to be more familiar with Lunchables.
“Kids will look at it differently by the time he is in middle or high school,” IV said.