Book Hippo

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hero Worship Now

Well, I wrote about how I wanted to be a hero, now I want to reveal who my heroes were. I suppose as a baby, my hero would have been my family but that's too far back to remember, so I'll start with Shirley Temple.

As an under six year old, I watched every Shirley Temple movie I could. I didn't know that Shirley had done those movies in the 1930s, to me, she was a little girl at the time, which would be early 1960s. I can still remember watching one movie on television and there was a close-up of Shirley's face. Suddenly, the tv shut off. A power failure. I was crushed. I have never seen the end of that movie and can't remember the title but I can still remember how I used to adore that special child.

Later, when I was older, I developed a hero-worship of Leonardo da Vinci. I thought that he was the most marvelous man and felt sad that he'd been dead for so long. I would never get to meet him. I had the erroneous idea that he created his inventions in a vacuum. We now know better. Leonardo actually never invented anything. He took existing ideas and improved them.

Historians now know that a lot of people were interested in human flight a long time before Leonardo. Daedalus and Icarus is one story about such a wish. There was actually a monk in the thirteenth century who did fly. He made himself a contraption somewhat similar to a hang glider and jumped off the roof of his monastery with it. He did fly about 100 yards before crashing. He was crippled for life. But surely Leonardo knew of his flight.

Another thing. It is now thought that the Chinese came to Italy in the fifteenth century and Leonardo surely got some of his ideas from them. Like the parachute. As for his submarine, people had been making plans for them for centuries. Even the ancient Greeks had an underwater breathing apparatus which allowed sailors to go underwater to attach mines to enemy ships. Yes, mines. They had them in ancient Greece.

Leonardo stayed my hero for years, that is until I came to Ottawa and met a man I have hero-worshipped ever since. I won't say his name but he is now my room mate and he is so helpful to me. I have also found that I'm not too impressed with athletic talent but am impressed by hard work to get somewhere. It's the doing something with what you have that is real impressive to me now and more deserving of hero worship than someone born with great talent. Don't get me wrong, a lot of them work hard, too, but it's the work, not the talent that impressed me now and I find more conducive, for me, of admiration.

1 comment:

  1. While I loved Shirley Temple, too, my hero as a young boy, Madeline, was Roy Rogers. He was King of the Cowboys and I'd spend all day Saturdays at the movies watching Roy and other cowboy stars over and over again. Many years later, I actually met Roy and spent time with him. Wow! One of the most exciting days of my life. I wrote about that day in a story called "White Hats and Happy Trails." It's on my website at You might enjoy it.