Let’s face it, people need heroes. Someone to look up to and emulate. Today, sports and movie stars are the prevailing heroes of the young, but it wasn’t always that way.
Growing up, I went through phases of life where my heroes changed, but they were always there. In the fifties I wanted to be a cowboy, like the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers or even John Wayne. Then America went into space and I wanted to be like Alan Shepard. As I got older (sixteen), I wanted to be a Rock Star, like John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, and I even had one high school friend who wanted to be a hippie. Yes, a very wide spread, but remember, in the fifties and sixties, the times, they were a changing.
Back to Grade School
In elementary school, I learned about Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, and other frontiersmen and decided I wanted to join their ranks. There was only one problem—most of the U.S. was discovered, mapped, and had paved roads. What was a young boy to do?
Read! I read every book I could on these and other men who explored much of this country. They wandered, fought, and camped out almost every night (I was twelve, so camping out was desirable). Most of them even suffered hardships, but they always prevailed. They were bigger than life, like the heroes in a Louis L’Amour novel, and they changed the face of who we are today.
Heroes. They are special in our memories. Some even continue in importance, like the men at The Alamo. Reading about The Alamo is where I learned another lesson about heroes. Heroes are men and women bound by honor, integrity, and passion, willing to be right against huge odds.
Yesterday, March 6th, was the 171st anniversary of the fall of The Alamo and it got me to thinking about all those heroes from my youth.
It makes me stop and think about life and how I match up with my heroes.
(Apologies to Willie Nelson for the title. I couldn’t resist.)