November 04, 2003
I read a lot of history and biographies when I was growing up. Three of my favorite people to read about were Daniel Boone, Jim Bowie and Teddy Roosevelt.
I liked Daniel Boone because he was smaller than I am and he explored places no one had ever gone before. He settled Kentucky, where I was born. He outwitted Indians and fought in numerous minor wars. He got his ass screwed off by lawyers and land-agents in Kentucky and ended up dying in Missouri, with not much to show for all that he had done. Reading his biography instilled a distrust of government in me from an early age.
Jim Bowie was a badass. He was a successful businessman, a dreaded duelist and the inventor of a knife that still bears his name today. I own one of those knives. Bowie did some incredible, fearless things in his life, but I have no respect for a fearless man. A fearless man is a crazy man. Doing fearless things when you FEEL FEAR is the mark of a hero. I'm not sure where Bowie was coming from. I know that when he died at the Alamo, he had nothing more to lose. Why not go out in a blaze of glory? Bowie is an interesting character in American history.
Teddy Roosevelt set the tone for what the United States is today. "BULLY!" The Panama Canal was built on his watch, and he knew how to handle pirates, too. He liked to put on boxing gloves when foreign dignitaries came to visit and see what they were made of. I believe that he may be one of the most important Presidents we've had in the history of this country. He was a trust-buster and a visionary. And I like "Talk softly, but carry a big stick."
Does this blog reflect the heroes I had as a boy?
I have GOT to get me a Bowie knife someday.
Until then, I'll just make do with this one.
Teddy was a hell of of man, spoke many languares, won the Medal of Honor and was awarded the Nobel Peacs Prize. He legacy lives on today with many programs he started relating conservation.
TRA Web Site
A genuine Bowie knife is better, Kim. It's almost like a Roman short-sword, but 12" long, with a sharp blade on the front and an equally sharp blade for 4" down the back. Beyond the short blade of the knife, a brass insert runs down the back. That was put there to hang someone else's blade so that you could parry, lock his blade and cut his throat with the back-side of the knife.
It is a pure fighting knife, designed by someone who knew what he was doing.
"There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities."
--Teddy in a speech before the Knights of Columbus.
I'll just not too that the Knights of Columbus are the one's who got "under God" added to our Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 at the height of the Red Scare. Nothing implied on my opinion of course...
Just food for thought...
T.R. has always been my favorite president. Back in the 80's when I was in the Navy and they were building the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt I got myself assigned to the original crew. I was there from Day One and was extremely proud the day we commissioned that ship. I wish we could raise him from the dead to lead this nation on the War on Terrorism. I'd almost fell sorry for those fucks with Teddy wielding all the forces we have today. Talk about no where to hide. Now since this is election day in the US here's an appropriate quote of his:
"A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user." --- Theodore Roosevelt, An Autobiography, 1913
Now we're talking. Y'all might like to look at some of Jerry Fisk's bowie knives. Jerry's knifemaking skills got him declared a 'national living treasure'. All that, and he's a nice guy, too.
FWIW, if you can't afford a 'handmade' Fisk knife (I can't) the folks at Camillus have offered a couple of limited edition Fisk bowie knife designs over the years. Look here for their OVB Fisk Bowies.
Acidman, if you ever travel this way (St. Louis), give me a heads-up on the blog, and I'll take you to see the Daniel Boone home he lived in at the end of his life. He may not have been fabulously wealthy, but he was widely respected in the area.
Lewis & Clark stopped by to see him on their way West. They considered it to be a mandatory stop. I think that says a lot, right there.
Your comments about Bowie reminded me of a guy I used to know in Columbus, Ga. He won two Silver Stars in the Korean War and one day, when we were drinking in his mobile home in Phenix City, he showed me his medals. "The Silver Star is the thinking man's Medal of Honor," he told me. "You have to do something stupid to win the Medal of Honor. But if you think just long enough to figure out how not to get killed doing it, then you get a Silver Star."
Carl H. : That information brings a whole new level to the term "Fisking."
LPDBW, been up in yer neck of the woods and checked out Dan'l Boone's lovely place. Very nice! (I was expecting a cracker house, not something nearly as nice!)