June 09, 2008
Originally published November 4, 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?
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