Friday, October 23, 2009

LBC-Heroes

The Loose Bloggers Consortium, is an informal group of bloggers who post on a given topic each Friday. One topic is posted, then each member gives it their individual treatment.  The current members are, in a aphabetical order:   


I am finding out that this is a diversely located group, so far I've learned some are from the UK, USA, and India . If you have time and want a good read, check out the other members contributions. It always amazes me how people can see the same subject but come up with different interpretations.

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HEROES
One meaning that Webster's dictionary gives for "Heroes" is "people noted for courageous acts or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed their life".

The nobility of purpose intrigued me.  I tried to think of people who have " a nobility of purpose".  Some of the most famous are Joan of Ark, Nicodemus, Martin Luther King, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mother Teresa, and George Bush's handling of 09/11/01 or Winston Churchill during World War II.

But what about the everyday heroes?  The neighbor next door who runs into a burning house to save a child.  I love the television commercial where a woman observes a person helping another, which encourages her to help someone.  She's observed by a man, who then helps someone. So just doing something for someone could end up helping others throughout the day.  For the life of me I can't tell you the product the commercial is selling, but I do remember the music, the caring and the helping.

Another everyday hero was my tenth grade English teacher, Miss Blansit. If you were to need someone to play the part in a movie of a perfect English teacher, she would be the one.  She was about five feet eight inches tall, trim in the suits she wore with black pumps and ivory colored silk blouses, on her nose she wore a pair of black rimmed glasses. Her hair was cut short and had waves. She also had a sense of humor and was able to interest her class in Shakespeare. Her encouragement led me to writing.  She praised my work which gave me confidence.  I don't know the story as to why she never married.  She was attractive enough, even at sixty-two, when I knew her.  I would sometimes try to come up with stories, such as her fiance was killed in World War II.  She loved him so much, he was her soul mate, therefore she never married.  Whatever the reason, it never interfered with her love for her students.  She loved her job and the subject she taught.  I'm sure there are a few students who grew to adulthood and followed their dream all because of Miss Blansit's encouragement.

I also want to include my Dad as an everyday hero.  He was the oldest of seven children.  He was born in 1916, Buck's Pocket, Alabama.

Clifford Harper 1917




Clifford Harper, age 4, 1920

 As a lot of people during that time, his family were farmers, barely making a living.  They moved around renting land, then farming it.  His Dad and my granddad wasn't exactly the stay at home type, this made matters more difficult when his mother, Manila Harper died.  Dad was seventeen, at the time of her death, with six younger siblings. He and his older sister Mavis became the caretakers of the family.

After finishing the seventh grade, he quit school to find a job.  Seven years later he joined the Army.  His results from some of the Army tests showed his IQ off the charts at that time.  It was around 140.
He came back from the war, married my Mom and raised another family, only there were just four of us.  He worked hard all his life.  When he was thirty-seven, he suffered an arm injury that removed all but his thumb and index finger, though these were also mangled, he did get to where he could pick up and hold items with them.

He two liked to laugh and it was so much fun being around him, his brothers and sisters.



Clifford Harper 1940


Clifford Harper with his injured hand, 1955

He was a workaholic which was devastating when he had to retire. He didn't know what to do with himself. There were times he literally gave away the shirt off his back to help someone. He touched lives in ways that people remembered him.  When he died in 1982, the funeral home overflowed with people who came to pay their respect.   He was loved and greatly missed after his death.

Heroes come in all sizes, gender and ways.  A father can be a hero because he was there for you. A school teacher is a hero because she encourages a very shy girl to reach for the stars.  A football coach is one bacause he helps a poor young boy to build on his abilities and go to college.  There are so many everyday heroes, just stop and observe the helping, then pass it on.

9 comments:

gaelikaa said...

Your father was a terrific man, Judy. What a wonderful memory. Your teacher seems to have been a fascinating personality.

I liked your treatment of the subject. Many people are unsung heroes and deserve much more credit.

Conrad said...

Judy, not only was your father a marvelous man, he obviously raised a daughter with her head on straight! Your own values shine through like a beacon on this piece and I really like it.

Grannymar said...

Your father sounded like an amazing man, how wonderful to have him touch your life and leave you with great memories.

Mariannna said...

Love the line, "Heroes come in all sizes, genders and ways."

They walk amongst us, and are there, as your dad was - supporting you and all those whose lives he touched.

Maria said...

I have to agree with Marianna. Your line "Heroes come in all sizes, genders, and ways" is so true.

We never really know how many lives we touch as we go about our daily lives. I hope that you had an opportunity to tell your teacher who "helped you reach for the stars" and your father who "was there for you" just what true heroes they were to you.

Makes me think I need to make some phone calls to some heroes in my life to let them know all that they have done.

For those that already have left this life, I will light a candle in their honor. As you can tell, reading LCW has had quite an effect on me this week.

Magpie 11 said...

As one who never was able to see his father as a hero I envy you yours.

Like Marianna(I notice 3 'n's ) I noticed the line about sizes, genders and ways.

How many of our ancestors were heroes in their lives, I wonder?

Rummuser said...

Like Magpie, as one who never saw his father as a hero, nor sees him as one now, I always envy people who hero worship their fathers. When you talk about your teacher, my memory too goes back to my school days when I did have a couple of heroes, but they did not impact my life as yours did. Great writing. Nice to have you aboard.

Helen McGinn said...

What a lovely post; I love the fitting tribute to your father, he sounds like a wonderful man. I so agree that all of us can be heroes, despite our flaws. I also believe that 'paying it forward' is such a great concept, as in the advert you talked about; we see a good deed being committed and the effect it has and it inspires us. I like to think if it could be seen, it would be like a great big Mexican wave round the world. :O)
x

Ashok said...

Clifford Harper is an extraordinary man and I am feel honoured to read about him. Thank you for sharing the story about him. It gave the post that special personal touch and if I might say so, great to have you on board :)