Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

I don't really remember my Dad, he left when I was rather young, about three or so. I do know that he taught me several important lessons that I use to this very day. Don't start something that you aren't man enough to finish. Take care of your family, no one else will or should. Some things are worth fighting for. Nothing worthwhile is easy. Hard work is it's own reward.
My mother raised three of us on a meager salary in the 70's by herself. She was a tough woman and passed on everything good and moral that I know to this day. It would have been a lot easier with a father in the picture, but I think she did a good job none the less. My stepfather, Pop, was a good, decent man who took on someone elses kids when he didn't have to. He died when I was a senior in High School and I miss him. Lessons learned from Pop:
A job worth doing is worth doing right
If you don't clean that toilet you'll get diphtheria
When Father's Day rolls around, I think of Pop, not my father. And I hope I can be half the man he was.

One of Pop's favorite songs

Well my daddy left home when I was three
And he didn't leave much to Ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me Sue.

Well, he must o' thought that it was quite a joke
And it got a lot of laughs from lots of folk,
It seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red
And some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head,
I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named Sue.

Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean,
My fist got hard and my wits got keen,
I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame.
But I made me a vow to the moon and stars
That I'd search the honky-tonks and bars
And kill that man that give me that awful name.

Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid-July
And I just hit town and my throat was dry,
I thought I'd stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon on a street of mud,
There at a table, dealing stud,
Sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me Sue.

Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
From a worn-out picture that my mother'd had,
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old,
And I looked at him and my blood ran cold
And I said: "My name is Sue! how do you do! Now you gonna die!"

Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes
And he went down but, to my surprise,
He come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
But I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.

I tell ya, I've fought tougher men
But I really can't remember when,
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
He went for his gun and I pulled mine first,
He stood there lookin' at me and I saw him smile.

And he said: "Son, this world is rough
And if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn't be there to help ya along.
So I give ya that name and I said good-bye
I knew you'd have to get tough or die
And it's that name that helped to make you strong."

He said: "Now you just fought one hell of a fight
And I know you hate me, and you got the right
To kill me now, and I wouldn't blame you if you do.
But ya ought to thank me, before I die,
For the gravel in your guts and the spit in your eye
Cause I'm the son-of-a-biatch that named you Sue."

I got all choked up and I threw down my gun
And I called him my pa, and he called me son,
And I come away with a different point of view.
And I think about him, now and then,
Every time I try and every time I win,
And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him...
Bill or George! Anything but Sue!

-Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue".

Cracked him up every time. Happy Father's Day Pop

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The definition of HERO

"In nothing do men approach so nearly to the gods as doing good to men." - Cicero
Hero. A word used way too often in these modern times. What defines a hero? Is it the firefighter rushing into a burning building? The cop who saves the day by placing his own life on the line against desperate criminals? Yes, I think those fit the bill. What about the athlete who pushes through the pain, or the single mom who works two jobs to support her family? Does it apply to the good Samaritan who got your car running when it stalled on the highway and then refused any kind of payment? Or what about the quarterback who scores the winning touchdown in the closing seconds of the Superbowl? As I said, the word has become overused and misused in almost every concept. I think that the word hero is best defined in two words - Irena Sendler. I could go on and on and rewrite what has already been written about her, but instead I'll just post the link.
Selflessly this brave young woman rescued over 2500 children from almost certain death from starvation, disease and genocide. She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and in a sane world the other contenders would bow out. (Of course in a sane world, Jimmy Carter and Arafat would never have been nominated)
This is the true meaning of hero.
For more info: