Okay, 2016, enough already!
Another one of my childhood icons, Hugh O’Brian, passed yesterday…
He was 91.
For those too young to be baby-boomers, he was Wyatt Earp in the TV series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp 1955-1961.
When the Western was King.
(Yeah, he didn’t sport a mustache, and didn’t truck with hookers on the show, I know!)
O’Brian first attended school at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, then the (now defunct) Kemper Military School in Booneville, Missouri. He lettered in football, basketball, wrestling, and track. O’Brian dropped out of the University of Cincinnati after one semester to enlist in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. At seventeen, he became the youngest Marine drill instructor.
Hugh O’Brian dedicated much of his life to the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), a non-profit youth leadership development program for high school scholars. HOBY sponsors 10,000 high school sophomores annually through its over 70 leadership programs in all 50 states and 20 countries. Since its inception in 1958, over 435,000 young people have participated in HOBY-related programs.
One high school sophomore from every high school in the United States, referred to as an “ambassador,” is welcome to attend a state or regional HOBY seminar. From each of those seminars, students (number based on population) are offered the opportunity to attend the World Leadership Congress (WLC). In 2008, over 500 ambassadors attended from all 50 states and 20 countries. The concept for HOBY was inspired in 1958 by a nine-day visit O’Brian had with famed humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa. Dr. Schweitzer believed “the most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves.”
O’Brian’s message to young people is “Freedom to Choose” as explained in an essay on the topic:
I do NOT believe we are all born equal. Created equal in the eyes of God, yes, but physical and emotional differences, parental guidelines, varying environments, being in the right place at the right time, all play a role in enhancing or limiting an individual’s development. But I DO believe every man and woman, if given the opportunity and encouragement to recognize their potential, regardless of background, has the freedom to choose in our world. Will an individual be a taker or a giver in life? Will that person be satisfied merely to exist or seek a meaningful purpose? Will he or she dare to dream the impossible dream? I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose, to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love.— Hugh O’Brian, The Freedom to Choose
I awaken middle of the night and I’m cold. Not just cool – cold. This may have something to do with the fact that I’m laying on top of the top sheet, and not wearing much. (I know – TMI)
Why am I doing this?
Well, I reside in The Valley of the Sun (the Phoenix Arizona area). And we’re experiencing a cold streak. It’s reportedly going to be 103° F, today.
It was 118° a week-and-a-half ago! (Unofficially at a friend’s – 123°, on his back patio!)
And being in the Western side of the townhouse, I get the PM Sun exposure. Usually 5 – 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the house!
SO…I sleep with a fan blowing directly on me, so the A/C may do her best work!
But, the body cools during sleep, and sometimes the combination of forced colder air and a cooler body equals…?
NO, this is not a replay of the Rod Serling Twilight Zone episode wherein the Earth’s orbit changed, and it is moving ever-closer to the Sun. When, in fact, the TV character’s fever broke and he began getting colder, and in fact the Earth was moving AWAY from the Sun!
I was just getting cold last night. So I moved the fan.
Which has nothing to do with the post’s title, except that’s another TZ episode. The tag line from which popped into my head upon awakening cold. 🙂
My roommate said I watched too much TV as a child. I’m beginning to think she was right.
Sometimes these posts write themselves!
Well, here we are.
Another @&%$)_+%$^ holiday anniversary date!
My roommate wanted to ‘celebrate’, as she believes I was a good, loving father, and my daughter is unfortunately not capable of celebrating me.
My roommate is a good person.
Molly would have been 33 this Father’s Day. My imagination leads to thoughts of an alternative future, wherein she married, had children, and a career. And I had grandchildren.
It was not to be.
She loved animals (during her time here we had two dogs, three cats, a hamster and two goldfish). She wanted to become a veterinarian.
I also imagine a house filled with numerous animals and kids, running willy-nilly, screaming and playing.
Sometimes, a good imagination is not a good thing.
To all the good Dads out there, Happy Father’s Day.
Remember to hug them and kiss them and tell them you love them. Daily.
Because, you never know.
Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #17 of 22)
(as oft intoned by Tamara!)
Thank Joel for this! (in part):
Because a group of idiots in charge knows better than the individual idiot!
There was a time (I think I was 5 or 6) when I remember telling my parents I wanted to go to Harvard or M.I.T. (!) I’m certain, as we had recently moved from New Haven to Phoenix that it hurt them I didn’t even mention Yale…
But, I was young and impressionable.
Alas, it appears most of the Ivy League and other ‘famous’ schools have now become infamous…
A shame, really.
And my grades didn’t get me a needed scholarship, so I attended a local party school and junior college. And paid for it all myself.
Guess I learned something after all.
Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #5 of 22)
I read a while back about a national psychiatric association promoting the idea that pedophilia was just another direction for humanity – that it should be decriminalized and such folks just needed understanding.
Well, apparently, this idea has caught on with the Leftist media! Who knew?
from Free North Carolina
There are sex-crimes and there are sex-crimes, all of them are absolutely terrible. But the worst sex crime IMHO is pedophilia, sex with a child. Taking advantage of a child is an unforgivable crime.
But apparently liberal web-magazine Salon doesn’t think so, they seem to be trying to legitimize the practice.
The post below was written by my colleague Joe Newby and might make you ill (it sure made me ill).
On Tuesday, the ultra-left wing rag Salon published an article defending pedophiles, presenting them as poor, lonely souls who just want someone to love.
There’s only one problem. The people these individuals want to “love” are children. And Salon is apparently okay with that.More @ The Lid
I’ve been ‘disabled’ since I was age 12. Legg Calve’ Perthes disease destroyed the cartilage and bone in my right hip, and was starting to attack my other hip and both knees. After much failed experimentation, ‘they’ were able to stop the advancement. ‘They’ decided the best course of action was to cast me, fusing my right leg at the hip. In 1966.
So my right leg is substantially shorter than my left, and fused at the hip.
I’ve lived my life this way. I’m used to it.
And, anyway, a hip replacement is elective and expensive.
In spite of this (in my youth), I ran, played, jogged, walked, took Kenpo karate, lifted weights…all manner of things!
Sadly, this disability kept me from joining the military or becoming a cop. Childhood dreams dashed.
But, in spite of my limitations, I never felt, well, disabled.
Yes, sometimes ‘it’ got in the way (like needing leg room to drive – straight leg, and all), but it never kept me from most things. I usually avoided wearing ‘Ed Sullivan-the really big shoe’* when I was younger, because I thought it made me look crippled. Which I was.
And I rarely felt sorry for myself. Well, sometimes.
But Life brought the addition of a serious car accident, diabetes and lymphoma, all potentially more lethal.
And Diffuse Type B Cell Lymphoma is listed as the ‘official’ reason for my Social Security Disability Income.
As of age 58.
And I am still here, now approaching age 64. Wearing ‘Ed’ more often.
My roommate J. has been having her own health issues for many years. They needn’t be enumerated here. Surgery pending on some. Suffice it to say we don’t get to gun shows much, anymore. Too much walking.
But she never asked for one of those disabled mirror hangers! I obtained one a while back, and we kept in in her car, as she does most of the driving, her car being in better shape then mine.
She finally remembered to ask her primary care doc for the form to get one! And got hers!
This meant I got to have and use mine for the first time the other day!
It’s official – I’m a gimp!
…or at least equal opportunity for yuck!
I’m speaking about equal opportunity for MEN here.
I’ve been taking out the trash and the garbage my entire life! Or, at least since I was able to walk, lift and receive an allowance.
My sister? Nope. And SHE, too, received an allowance.
Why the disparity? I AM MALE!
Don’t you know – IT’S THE JOB OF THE MAN (OR BOY) TO TAKE OUT THE TRASH!
How do we know this? Every woman – starting with my Mother and stepmother – said so!
And subsequent girlfriends and even the (now ex) wife!
And currently my female roommate!
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
Everyone in the house makes trash and garbage. I don’t mind sharing the duty necessary to get it to the dumpster. But, when did it become solely the purview of the MALE?
I tried the argument that if there were gender-specific jobs that she should take care of the house and make the meals and do the wash.
That didn’t go over so well…
And I also received the counter-argument that they had to suffer childbirth and other things feminine. As if I created women to be that way!
It’s an argument with a woman.
Men lose, automatically.
The brilliant and beautiful Tamara posted recently the dearth of correct tactics and technique with regard to television shows and weapon technique.
She, of course, is correct.
I’ve posted in these pages regarding the same stuff – the guy in the show 24, for example. Cup-and-saucer does not Weaver or Isosceles make…
But these martial faux pas go back decades.
The Untouchables, M Squad, The Detectives, The FBI (in color!) And don’t even bring up the spy genre – The Man From UNCLE (for example). And the movies! James Bond to Dirty Harry…
And thousands of other TV shows and films.
Weapon technique is terrible! Cup-and-saucer. Or worse yet, grabbing one’s wrist with the off hand. Or supporting the shooting arm with the other under the forearm!
Shooting rifles and submachine guns from the hip! Because it looks cool…
And the gun hand up next to the face. Because it frames our hero with a gun next to their face, NOT because it’s a good idea!
And the ubiquitous fingers on triggers!
And many of us (mostly male) took their initial learning ques from these ‘techniques’. This is why women are generally better students. They don’t have to unlearn as much.
We do need to be reminded that these media are for entertainment, and are not documentaries or training aids, however.
But sometimes some of these Hollywood presentations are just too ludicrous to be able to suspend disbelief and enjoy. Remember T.J. Hooker?
Having been a semi-professional magician in my youth, I’ve had much the same reaction to watching magicians on television. Either I know the secret (or know something) and the performance loses it’s entertainment value.
There were a couple, or three.
The first I owned because of my Father’s disconnect.
He was raised on the East Coast, in a more poor part of town, by a railroad policeman/former Marine. An Irish neighborhood.
In my mind, his youth resembled a Dead-End Kids movie, except not in NYC.
And, laws aside, there were knives and guns around. And his Dad’s rules about them – were something akin to ‘touch anything without permission and you get a beating’!
Fast-forward to 1960s Arizona. A desert, agricultural college town. Lots of farm and ranch kids. About 3/4 or whom carried some kind of folder with them. Girls included.
We had a couple guns at home, which I was not allowed to touch (see above).
One day, while I was in grade school, my Dad came into the back yard where I was playing. And he handed me a folding knife. I was going to be leaving for camp in the Summer, and he thought I should have one of his (!)
AND, not unlike The Dead End Kids, he gave me a quick lesson in Mumbley-Peg with it! Not understanding knives didn’t stick well in the dry, desert dirt. See, disconnect.
None of my friends had ever seen such a game. And, anyway, they didn’t bring their knives out at school.
And, I took the knife to camp, a fellow camper borrowed it, cut himself, got taken to the ER(!), and I never saw it again! He was okay, though.
Fast forward to a year or so later. I’d made friends with a couple of kids a block over, including a little red headed girl (!) (Puberty had yet to hit, and, anyway, she was younger than me and a friend’s sister…I wonder where she is now? STOP THAT!)
My birthday came around, and surprise-surprise, the little red haired girl stopped by with a present! (Hell, most of my friends hadn’t given me anything!)
And what do you think it was…?
NO, not a folding knife.
A sheathed belt knife! How cool was THAT? Of course, my Dad immediately glommed onto it for his camping and fishing trips.
And it resided in the truck’s over-the-cab camper for years. Until my Dad passed and everything was given away or sold. 😦
Now, my maternal grandfather (aka ‘Gramp’) always carried a knife! When I was a kid, I thought this was a disconnect, as he was an East Coast banker-type. The only time we ever say it was when there were presents.
Used to open the boxes! A Christy gentleman’s knife!
And it, too, is lost to history. 😦
Although, if I really wanted one, Christy still makes them!
It is with a heavy heart that I must report to you the passing of Robert H. ‘Bob’ Hall.
Like some folks, Bob was one of my ‘newer’ friends. We met when he interviewed me for a private investigation position at Tom Ezell & Associates, in 1981.
I had applied because I had been working for other P.I. firms, and wanted to get the requisite three years under my belt to obtain my own license. I saw an ad in the paper and called. Jack Wheeler answered, and I thought I had the job!
Jack had been the salesman for Burns Security when I worked there as the assistant security supervisor (lieutenant), so we knew each other. But Jack said it would be inappropriate for him to hire me without the chief investigator interviewing me, so I was introduced to Bob. We became colleagues almost immediately, and fast friends.
You see, about five minutes into the interview, it was determined that Bob had attended high school with one Mary R. The same Mary R. I had married a year previously! They grew up in the same neighborhood. Bob also had a serious firearms fetish, as did I. He just had more firepower than me. Like legal full-auto stuff! (including an M60 and MAC-10, both of which he no longer owns.)
And thus began our friendship. He sold me my favorite 1911 ‘Bobbie’, aka The Bob Hall Signature Model, in 1983. She still works and I still own (and sometimes carry) her. We have been shooting together, on-and-off, ever since.
He married, fathered two terrific girls, and moved on to run his own P.I. agency. In the 90’s, he also became the general manager of Legendary Guns of The West, a store where I hung out, purchased many firearms, and even worked part time.
Bob was one of my closest friends. He taught me, as he taught his girls, not to take life too seriously. Oft times, my phone would ring, and there would be Bob on the line, not ID-ing himself, but quoting the Firesign Theatre or Monty Python out-of-context! “Shine-sheen. A little Egyptian! Chanting a stream of ancient Egyptian holograms – hieroglyphs, that’s it!” or “We dreamed of living in a hallway – we lived in a cardboard box!” Then he would get to the heart of the call – “let’s go shooting, or I’ve got a gun here I know you’d like…”
Bob’s health had been failing in the past couple of years (as recounted in these pages). First diabetes took the lower half of his left leg, then esophageal gastric erosion devolved into cancer, which after chemo and radiation treatments were performed, won.
I remember him for his unwavering support of two family members and one friend through their battles with addiction, his gifting his father with an M2 – just like the one he carried in The War, and his pride in his daughters. Both college graduates, one now on the cusp of getting her doctorate in clinical psychology from Northwestern! Her focus is on veterans with PTSD! Both are responsible firearms owners.
I know it’s a truism that the older we get, the more ‘this’ appears to happen. Life isn’t fair! Dammit, Bob, I still have the two books from Brigid I promised you! (He refused visitors, not wanting them to see him in his emaciated state.)
Goodbye, and Godspeed, my brother.
I Love You!