Monday, February 3, 2014

Our Heroes of Yesterday

As a child my friends and I had many heroes from the movies.   On many Saturday afternoons all the kids pretended to be the cowboy stars.  We played out games of cowboys and or Indians. and by way the hero always got the beautiful girl.  Many times Roy Rogers saved Dale Evens from a fate worse than death and the good guys always rode off in the sunset and was happy ever after.  There usually was a song following the rescue...  These were truly wonderful times and thinking of children growing up without heroes makes me sad.  Heroes of today simply can't be brought to mind. There seems to be a true lack of  folks children or adults can look up to and say for example this man or woman saved the day.  Our TVs seem to be setting an example of death and destruction to the young and old alike.  The old will probably not be affected by the violence, however careful thought should be given to the young. They are in the process of becoming, this may be a great problem as they grow up.  One can only hope their minds won't be destroyed by the things they see daily.  And Hopefully attend Houses of Worship with parents on a regular basis.
 Recalling yesteryear brings to mind a sound ringing through my best friend's backyard past an alley and family's backyard by an old cow lot used by a group of my friends to be used as a pirate ship.....
 Don-nie,     Don-nie!    Don-nie!!!  Don-nie, Ray!!!  then a sound that would have caused the meanest of all Indians to have a heart attack...  Don-nie!  Ray!!  Wag!gon! ER!!!!!! When my friend heard that coming from Mrs.Wagoner Donnie knew the jig was up and that he should come home are things that followed would be very unpleasant.

    Above is the childhood home of a good friend of long ago, K.D.Henry.  We all thought he was the coolest of all our friends.  While taking this picture I was standing in the alley facing Kenneth Don's childhood home.  We all spent many wonderful days perhaps years making many wonderful childhood memories.  As a child one could not see Kenneth's home for there was an old old wooden barn that was well on it's way to falling down and Father Time destroying it.  O' did I mention the barn was full of yellow jacket wasps.that were fought often by our group of friends?  This was one of our greatest sports and we pursued it bravely.
There was great sport in fighting the wasps.  Perhaps there were stings, however all lived for another day's fighting...The lot behind Kenneth's home looks very lonesome as the picture was taken.

       The picture above shows the home site of my childhood.  My truck is in the background and our home faced the Truck.  On the right side of the picture stands a tree/  During my early childhood days there was a 
vacant rough wood fence used by a milk cow in the past.  Being the creative boys that we were, transferred  the glorious cow's ex-home into a pirate ship.  Many sea battles were fought by the brave mates with swords in hand.  Cannons seem to roar and if one listens closely battle cries and shots being fired by brave shipmates can be heard.

       Wonderful folks built this replica of The Little House in the Big Woods of Wisconsin.  Laura lived here as a child. She created memories that bring tears of joy to many children and adults with the writing of the great books.

     The year was 1994 or 1995, not sure the year that a second grade class' teacher was reading "Little House in the big woods  aloud and read the following passage...That teacher was me and I still recall reading the delightful stories of Mrs. Wilder...

     “When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, "What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?"

"They are the days of a long time ago, Laura," Pa said. "Go to sleep, now."
But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa's fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods,…
She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.” 
― Laura Ingalls Wilder, "Little House in the Big Woods"

     As the news reports were blasting out with stories of how wrong everyone is and how things could be handled better by someone else thoughts ran through my mind:, like:   "Just exactly who are the heroes of today?  At this point you should know that not one came to mind.  Then thoughts were taken back to a childhood of very hard times.  As a child there was not a feeling that times that were rough, but sheer delight.
As a child, there was no discrimination known to my friends.  A close friend was a black child and a member of our bicycle club.  His parents worked for hard the railroad.   There were a lot of bicycle games, some of them dangerous, if memory is right.  The playground was most of Abilene Texas.  There was a lot of frog hunting and fishing where shopping centers now stand an have for many years.  Parents weren't afraid for them to play without the supervision of the adults... That however is another story...

     My friend's family, Can't remember his name lived  at the T&P Railroad  headquarters.  At the time the location was the 100 block of Locust Street.  I lived on the 600 block of Locust Street.  Many bicycle rides were over the ramp of the railroad loading dock many many years. They are so alive in my memories.


     When entering the Waggoner home Mr. Waggoner would be smoking his pipe with his, as Mark Twain would probably say, loving Dog that was built very close to the ground and very long...
A few steps into the home one would see on one side of the living room a very large photograph of  General Douglas MacArthur....The other side of the room was a picture of General D D E. Also included was General George S. Patton.  Even though the community was rather poor, There were many heroes whose pictures were displayed proudly with no apology to any person place or thing.
President Dwight David Eisenhower............This wonderful country doesn't need so many new laws and regulations...The laws need to be to help the people of our great country.  This country needs OUR HEROES. not bureaucrats holding us down...
MacArthur, Douglas
General Douglas MacArthur
Give us some Good Leaders and make us proud to hang their pictures on the walls of out homes.

    Would be so wonderful for the children to see on the television set pictures of Great Americans saying:    "
"What Can I Do For My Country and for My People."  He or She should forget about being reelected and do what is right for all Americans and not  just for Self...


  1. I love this post. You are so right about today's youth needing heroes. Right after President Obama won his first term in office I was having a medical procedure done. I was talking to the nurse before being taken in and the conversation turned to politics. I've never forgotten what she said, "Why didn't they let the war hero win? We need heroes in our lives." So true, we do need heroes.

    You must have had such a wonderful childhood. It was great hearing all of your memories.

    I am a huge fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder and appreciate that you are also. I sometimes wish I could have lived her life. Imagine all she saw -- from covered wagon to airplanes!

  2. We have our heroes. I think it's hard to recognize the heroes of a younger generation, or understand why they are relevant to that generation (Lord knows I will never understand Bieber fever!), but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

    For me, I like a sassy female with more smarts than she knows what to do with. :) Though for older movies I can't get enough of Gene Wilder.

    If you want more recent cowboy movies, though, Deadwood is pretty darn good, and also Hell on Wheels. Deadwood has the bonus of Calamity Jane, who is simultaneously hilarious and tragic in a kind of touching way. She's on my top 5 list of favorite female television characters.