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Thread: I Saw One of My Hero's Today

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    I Saw One of My Hero's Today

    When I was growing up during the 50's and 60's, Seattle did not have the major league sport teams that we have today. My hero's as a kid were the Husky (U of Wash) sporting teams, unlimited hydroplane racers and a mountain climber. I suspect that the idea of a mountain climber seems like a strange hero for a young kid to have, but you have to understand how proud we were when local boy Jim Whittaker became the first American to climb to the top of Mount Everest. Later in my life when I also began to climb I would learn about other great local climbers like Fred Beckey, but there was always a certain place in my heart for Jim Whittaker.

    This morning my wife and I were at one our favorite little hole in wall eating establishment (Sweet Laurette and Cyndee's Cafe) in Port Townsend. We just ran in there to have some coffee before heading down to the town proper to enjoy the Wooden Boat Festival. He walked around the corner from the back part of the restaurant and I knew him instantly, Jim Whittaker. I jabbed the wife and pointed to him discreetly and asked if she knew who that was. She must have thought I was nuts, as she could tell I was excited about something. Just then, one of the owners of the place came out and said "Goodbye Jim", confirming what I already knew. His is eighty now but does not look his age. He still stands tall and erect. I thought for a millisecond of going up to him and saying something, but thought it best to let him enjoy his day without some idiot bothering him. I never thought of an autograph as I view them as demeaning to everyone involved.

    You know, I am happy just to have seen him and to remember that part of my childhood. So I say to him now what I did not say in that restaurant.

    Thanks for being such a worthwhile hero.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Nice going Bill, and that is a great day for sure.

    I get people in the L shop here in Tokyo that you see on TV, one guy has been a "B" movie actor for some time, lots of made for TV dramas etc. He has recently been moved up to a leading role in these shows and a co-star in a couple of decent Japanese movies. He comes into the L shop like everyone else to buy a six pack and some chips, I always say ""hi" and comment on the weather or his baseball team winning or losing etc, we chat for a minute and he leaves, a smile on his face. I treat him as just another local buying some beer, I think he appreciates that, because when the Monster-In-Law in at the counter and he comes in, she makes a BIG DEAL about his latest show etc and he always beats a hasty retreat, he does so politely, but it is obvious to me that he does not enjoy that kind of treatment, right there in the hood he lives in.

    So I will say again, I think you did the right thing Bill, and even though Jim Whittaker will never know about it, I'm sure he would appreciate it.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    I'll age myself, but when I first started working for the airlines, I was in LAX airport. I was working one night when the airport fogged in to the point all flights were diverted out to the alternate airport at Ontario and passengers were bussed in to LAX. I was assigned to work the front area where the busses were unloading to handle the bags. A supervisor grabbed me to handle a particular set of bags and load them into a limo... I did as instructed and this beautiful and gracious lady came around to get into the limo, but first stopped and pressed a $5 in my hand. I got a smile and tip from Arlene Dahl. (How many of you remember her?)
    Tellico Plains, TN
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

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