Heroes and Villains

I’ve had had a few “heroes” in my life. Not so much anymore. I’m old now, but I do still have a hero or two…in addition to the fellow whose picture just took that “place of honor” on FB once again as my Profile photo.

Many of my childhood heroes were sports figures, and most of them are gone. RIP to Mickey, Stan the Man, Muhammed.

Some of my heroes were politicians. Rest in Peace JFK, Martin, Bobby…and now Tom is gone.

There were a few others in both categories.

Some of my heroes touched me and millions of others with their music. We keep losing them, but thankfully their music lives in.

One night many years ago on a phone call, my friend Gray asked me who I’d like to see in concert. Someone I’d never seen before.

I had two quick answers: Marvin Gaye and Roy Orbison. Gray was surprised that I immediately named a couple of dead guys.

I never had a chance to see Marvin. None that I know of anyway.

For some reason that I don’t remember, I did NOT go see Roy Orbison at the Schnitzel on October 22, 1998. Roy had made this fantastic come-back. He had dubbed himself “Lefty Wilbury” in the super group The Traveling Wilbury’s. Roy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 1987. Lefty Wilbury was quoted as saying “It’s very nice to be wanted again, but I still can’t quite believe it.”

I couldn’t believe it when his gig at The Schnitz ended up being one of his last shows. He was dead 40 some days after he left PDX. The man with the magical voice was dead at 52.

The lesson I learned from that: YOLO.

If you’re my friend, or have read any of my ramblings, you know that Warren Zevon is one of my heroes. This excitable boy still gets fired up when listening to Warren’s songs. Like Roy Orbison he came back from some valleys. I can empathize with that.

My twist on what Warren said that night 14 years ago, when he was the only guest on the 10/30/2002 David Letterman show: Enjoy every bite of every sandwich.


None of these folks have ever been my Facebook profile picture. The only other “hero” that I’ve ever had as my Facebook profile picture is my Mom.

At some point in my career at Arthur Andersen, I was picked for some personal profile piece in a AA&Co publication. One of the stock questions was to name a hero. When I named the guy who is my current FB profile pic, they wouldn’t use it. I honestly didn’t expect them to…it hardly fit the Firm’s image. (See “The Lone Ranger: Part One”)

So I settled for Warren Buffet, instead of my real hero: Alfred E. Newman.

His motto has been mine since I picked up my first Mad Magazine as a 7th Grader at Reed Junior High here in Springfield, MO.

“What, me worry?”

Before the series started I told the wife of my best friend in Oregon, who is a lifelong Cubs fan and who bleeds blue, how I’d like to see a couple of things go.

“I want to see the Cubbies come from behind with 4 in the bottom of the 9th. And I want to start partying in earnest at about 8 pm the night of the election when the flimflam fascist gets BURIED!!”

Joyce wanted a sweep by her Cubs…and a win of any degree of magnitude on Tuesday.
The 7th game starts in a couple of hours. The election is in 6 days.

The world will go on no matter who wins tonight in Cleveland. It’s just a game.

I understand why many people want the system blown up. I wish I could vote for Bernie a second time in 2016. There are a number of “outsiders” who have run successful businesses and never filed for bankruptcy or stiffed contractors and employees. They also don’t randomly grope women “because they can” or do deals with mobsters and Communists. They may not be George Washington…but their pants are NOT constantly in flame from bald face LIES. They also know about The Beatitudes.

The world will go on no matter what happens next Tuesday. I have faith in our system of checks and balances.

But thinking of what the future could hold, it’s hard to eat and keep a sandwich down sometimes.

Things happen…that’s all they ever do. Hoping for some good things.

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