Archive for May 2014

Where Have All Our Heroes Gone

Way back in the early 70′s Bill Anderson has a hit song called “Where Have All Our Heroes Gone “. Recently I listened to it again. What I find is that it still hold true today. I don’t see the kids of today have any real Heroes or even talk of any. I have included the Lyrics!

Where have all our heroes gone what’s come over our great land
America is still my home sweet home but where have all our heroes gone
I saw a group of boys the other day standing in the corner of a playground
Looking and laughin’ at a magazine

And I overheard one of the boys said man is he ever cool
And he pointed to the man who’s picture was on the magazine cover
And everybody kinda said under their breath yeah he’s cool alright
And I got sick to my stomach

Because I’d seen the cover and the man that they were talking about
Had instigated a riot in one of our major cities last summer
And the magazine was writing about how the police were unkind to him
The judges were not fair with him

And how he talked back and slung his long hair about and cussed
And did his things and they made him into a regular hero
And inside this magazine was the story of a baseball player
Who got involted with the gamblers

Of the football player who said that football was not the end
Just a mean to an end meanin’ the girls and the good times
And a story of a folk singer who proudly claims
To be both a member of a party ailen to our government and a nontax payin’ citizen

These young boys read with open eyes and open minds
And I thought to myself my God
Are these the people that these young boys look up to
Are these their idols are these the heroes of the now generation

(America is still my home sweet home but where have all our heroes gone)
I had heroes when I was a kid we all did and our heroes did their thing too
Like General Douglas McArthur who returned like he said he would
Like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers who chased the bad guys right off the screen

Like Lindberg who flew the ocean and Jesse Owens who showed Hitler
And John Wayne and Gerry Cooper after all didn’t they really win the war
And General Ike bless your soul cause he made us feel safe
We’ve killed some of our recent heroes the Kennedys and Kings

And even as great as their space feats are
How many of the astronauts can you name huh how many
My heroes were people like Joe DiMaggio who proved that nice guys can finish first
And Stan Musian who never had an unkind word for anybody

And Winston Churchill who’s two fingers raised together meant victory
Not just a let-your-enemy-have-it-all kind of artificial peace
This country needs a lotta things today friends
But it doesn’t need any one thing anymore than it needs some real heroes

Men who know what it means to be looked up to by a griny faced kid
Men who want to sign autograph books and not deal under the table
Men who are willing to play the game with the people who made them heroes
Men who don’t mind putting on a white hat and saying thank you and please

I wish I knew more men that I’d be proud of for my son to look up to and say
Daddy when I grow up I want to be just-like-him.

Old Chiefs

One thing we weren’t aware of at the time, but became evident as life wore on, was that we learned true leadership from the finest examples any young lad was ever given, Chief Petty Officers. They were crusty bastards who had done it all and had been forged into men who had been time tested over more years than a lot of us had time on the planet. The ones I remember wore hydraulic oil stained hats with scratched and dinged-up insignia, faded shirts, some with a Bull Durham tag dangling out of their right-hand shirt pocket or a pipe and tobacco reloads in a worn leather pouch in their hip pockets, and a Zippo that had been everywhere. Some of them came with tattoos on their forearms that would force them to keep their cuffs buttoned at a Methodist picnic. Most of them were as tough as a boarding house steak. A quality required surviving the life they lived. There were and always will be, a breed apart from all other residents of Mother Earth. They took eighteen-year-old idiots and hammered the stupid bastards into sailors. You knew instinctively it had to be hell on earth to have been born a Chief’s kid. God should have given all sons born to Chiefs a return option. A Chief didn’t have to command respect. He got it because there was nothing else you could give them. They were God’s designated hitters on earth. When they accepted you as their shipmate, it was the highest honor you would ever receive in your life. At least it was clearly that for me. They were not men given to the prerogatives of their position. You would find them with their sleeves rolled up, shoulder-to-shoulder with you in a stores loading party. When we ultimately get our final duty station assignments and we get to wherever the big CNO in the sky assigns us. If we are lucky, Marines will be guarding the streets. But there will be an old Chief in an oil-stained hat, a cigar stub clenched in his teeth and a coffee cup that looks like it contains oil, standing at the brow to assign us our bunks and tell us where to stow our gear. And we will all be young again and the damn coffee with float a rock. Life fixes it so that by the time a stupid kid grows old enough and smart enough to recognize who he should have thanked along the way, he no longer can. If I could, I would thank my old Chiefs. If you only knew what you succeeded in pounding in this thick skull, you would be amazed. So thanks you old casehardened, unsalvageable sons-of-bitches. Save me a rack in the berthing compartment!