As I've said earlier I'm blessed with many heroes. Either that or I'm badly misguided. Another of my Heroes is My Dad, Tom C. SR. Not because of his Korean war service, though he is the genuine article as Heroes go. Personally I think anyone that jumps out of perfectly good airplanes is nuts, but to each his own. He is my hero for all the time he spent with me and all of the kids in the neighborhood teaching us to catch and hit a ball, and show good sportsmanship. He did this at the end of ten to twelve hour days over many years. He would pull into the driveway and drop his lunch box at the steps as he walked on past the house to the vacant lot next to our house, calling for the ball as he picked up his mit that was already out and waiting for him. In the fall he would teach us to run button hooks and slant pass plays in backyard football. He would throw those passes till every kid had his fill. It must have been a real thrill to have all those kids yelling his name and asking if he would stay out with them. He took the time to teach me the same as all the other kids, never mind that I was blind in one eye and not good in the other. He taught me to shoot a gun as well as I could see. I won the first Turkey shoot I entered in South Carolina. I sent him the paper target to show him.
I was reading the Detroit News the other day. I read an article about three young football players that play for the Michigan Wolverines. All were stars. They spoke of the great privilege they had been given. They spoke of their stardom, and their degrees. They spoke of trips to C.S. Mott Childrens Hospital to visit the kids that help to keep things in proper perspective. When I was eight years old I went blind in one eye. I got a month in that same hospital, confined to bed. I had surgery four times before they gave up. It was too far from home to have Mom and Dad there much. As the Christmas season drew near we got a real treat! Some Michigan players took the time to come and see us. It had been three weeks since I had been allowed to stand or walk without a nurse physically holding onto me. If I had to use the toilet they would seat me before giving me any privacy. So this big and I mean real big man comes and chats with me. He knew I couldn't walk because of fear of a blow to the head. He asked me if I was tired of sitting in the room. When I said yes he picked me up and carried me. We even went outside for the first breath of fresh air I'd had in three weeks. Yep even now the Wolverines are my Heroes. When he brought me back to my room he left me with a Michigan sweatshirt as a Christmas present. Continued