Saturday, January 06, 2007


I wonder if we take the correct amount of time to think about our Heroes. I'm 44 years old and still have Heroes. Some are obvious, and some are not. I'm fortunate in that my life is full of Heroes.
I'm going to list some of my Heroes and why they are. I'm not going to list them in an order from first to least because Heroes can't be categorized that way. I'm simply going to try to tell you a lil about them and why I hold them in such esteem. To begin this journey you must first understand a lil bit more about me then most folks know. I am the son of the son of a Michigan dirt farmer. I think but am not sure that my Dad finished the tenth grade. There was no eleventh. My Mother was a native of Chicago, her father a carpenter. She was a lady! I am their son. In my Grandfathers house was a picture of John Kennedy, and just a lil ways away the sacred virgin Mary. Kinda odd for a protestant home but I was raised a Catholic. By most standards I'm a spoiled child, even to the point of having at one point seven dirt bikes at one time as a child. Not bad for the son of an auto worker. What most didn't understand or care to look into was that I earned what I got! The hard way! I worked! Dad worked for GM most of my life building Oldsmobiles. I remember getting to watch him in the early years unload the trucks by pulling on a heavy chain, thus dragging the partial bodies off several at a time. He did this twelve hours a day seven days a week to feed and cloth us. It was a helluva long way from his beloved upper peninsula home. Yep that's right! We're Yoopers. My first hero is his Father, William John. As his friends and enemies called him...Jack. Jack was the most respected man in the county for a number of reasons. The Man could do anything! If he chose to fly past on the strength of his arms alone no one would have thought anything amiss. He worked in a rock quarry by day and farmed by night. He was a veteran of the great war, ww1. He spent his time as a cook. To him the thing was he served. All of his sons would serve as well, some with great distinction. One of Jacks friends had an episode with too much booze one night and ended up on his front porch with a rifle, staring down the State Police. They were going to shoot him. Jack walked up to him and asked him to put the gun down. He refused. Jack then told the man he was coming to take the gun, and help the man get through this trouble. The man told him...."Jack, I'll shoot you if you come near. One must remember that Jack was the deciding authority in that county at that time. He told the police to stand down. He then walked up to his friend. Half way between the road and his friend, the man put a round from his .22 rifle through Grandpa's right calf. Jack stopped and said, "Don't do that again! Don't make me loose my temper with you! He then went on and dis armed the man. That same man was with my family the day we buried Jack many years later. He echoed the words of my own Father; The greatest man I ever knew. There are a thousand stories about Jack, and if Super man was 5'6 and 140 pounds Jack was him. Continued...

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