My usual lone ranger running route takes me right past a house my brother used to live in. He doesn't live there anymore, obviously, but I'll still always think, when passing it, "I wonder if my brother is home."
When he lost his place in that house, he decided that he wasn't going to give his landlord the satisfaction (read: have the decency) of leaving it entirely clean and devoid of his presence. So he left quite a lot of stuff that, in his opinion, he did not need.
Much of it was the kitchen stuff my parents had been kind enough to buy for him. I'd roll my eyes and say nevermind that, but it's the point of the story, which is that a week or so after he moved, I ran past his old house and the trashcan was overflowing with his old stuff. So much so that there were bits and pieces of it all over the yard.
And sitting on the grass getting trampled was a potholder that I remembered being in my mom's kitchen since I was really little, a patchwork job with Mother Goose on it.
I ran past - you can't really carry things, and it was in the dirt, and I didn't want to stop, and what if someone saw me picking it up, and and and....
But today, while I was busting my ass trying to get home in time to meet a friend, something made me stop. Turn around. And pick up my mom's potholder.
It's Mother Goose.
In a roundabout, I-was-already-thinking-about-it-kind-of-way, it made me think about heroes. Childhood heroes and adult heroes (which we call 'role models') and the things that keep them with us.
My professor today was talking about how Frederick Douglass had a voice like James Earl Jones, and that got us on the subject of Darth Vader, which meant we got to hear this story:
"So, we all went to the mall because they had the Batmobile there, and we wanted to see the Batmobile. And there were all these kids there... so the Batmobile pulls up and the doors opened and... Batman had gained a lot of weight and Robin looked like a thug. And then all the kids were chanting, 'Batman, Batman!' but it turned into 'Fatman, Fatman!' and Robin started a brawl."
I never really admired superheroes as a kid. I mean, I loved them but I never really idolized them. In fact, my first hero was Theodore Roosevelt.
No kidding. Teddy Roosevelt was the man. Look him up some time. The guy was a for real cowboy, and basically an all-around adventure man who just happened to be in politics. When William McKinley was assasinated, they couldn't find TR for two days to tell him he was president because dude was camping in the wilderness.
And look at this mustache.
Tell me that's not the face of a man you only wish you were.