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Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    A good friend of mine was kind of a military history nut. He was pretty indiscriminate about it; he could tell you about wars and battles that happened 1200 years ago between races that don't even exist anymore.

    One of his living heroes was a particular mercenary who several times tried to take over small countries such as the Comoros Islands, and occasionally succeeded. Anyway my buddy is reading some very obscure book on a very obscure war on a train one day, and a guy sitting next to him notices the book. The stranger chats him up. The stranger says that he's an, um, problem-solving international consultant of sorts. He brokers unusual deals...things like large sums of diamonds from Africa (no questions asked, of course) and business dealings with various warring factions that don't really have offices or addresses.

    This guy takes my friend on as a protege/assistant of sorts, and they spent about a year tooling around Europe, Africa, and Asia doing these deals and meeting all sorts of people. I was in Europe for a conference and caught up with him there. He shows me a book signed by, you guessed it, his mercenary hero himself. Apparently the stranger knew him and they all had lunch.

    Whether all this was fate, chance, or conveniently arranged by the mysterious stranger, I cannot say.

    FOCUS: We've done variants on this theme before, but with Veterans/Remembrance day today, it seems appropriate. Who are your heroes? Whyso? Did you ever get a chance to meet them? How did that go?
     
  2. RCGT

    RCGT
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    I've got a couple of heroes. They're not always selected for accomplishment, but sometimes for panache, and sometimes just for illustrating the variety of life.* I'm gonna name just one here:

    Ted Williams

    [​IMG]

    The man was a single-minded workhorse. He had a screwy swing that wound him up like the rope around a tetherball pole and sent his coaches into apoplectic fits. He said his only goal in life was to walk down the street and have fathers say, "Son, there goes the greatest hitter who ever lived." He's the last man who hit .400 in a season the major leagues. He had .3995 on the last day of the 1941 season - that rounds up to .400 just fine. Quoth Teddy Ballgame: "If I can't hit .400 all the way, I don't deserve it." Goes 6-for-8 in a doubleheader with a home run and finishes the season with a .406 batting average.

    They shifted the field against the left-hander, as they did a few years back against Jason Giambi, and they still do against Ortiz et al. He refused to hit to the opposite field. Why? I dunno. Ask his ghost. "Gods do not answer letters," says John Updike. After he retired, he became an amazing fisherman. I guess he needed something else to be world-class at.

    The man spent some of his best years serving as a fighter pilot in World War II with the Navy - he broke records for gunnery, and served as an instructor for the Corsair afterwards. He was called back up when he was 34 for the Korean War and was awarded the Air Medal. He gave and raised tons of money to the Jimmy Fund to help kids with cancer, and would often pop around to the children's hospital to make visits. He didn't make photo ops - he actually hid these visits from the media, who oftentimes hated him. He could have used the good publicity. He didn't. Compare that to our sanitized, homogenized, personality-less personalities today.

    Yeah, he was slow and didn't really give a shit about fielding. Yeah, he underperformed on the rare occasion he got to the postseason. Yeah, some idiots cut his head off, froze it, and got it stuck to a tuna can after he died. I don't really care.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Williams#Quotations_on_Ted_Williams" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Willia ... d_Williams</a>

    I think that about says it.



    *From Dean Martin's wiki page:
    And then he became the "King of Cool" and one of the best singers in American history. How about that.
     
  3. lostalldoubt86

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    I kind of have stereotypical female heroes. Amelia Erhart, Elenore Roosevelt, Dorothy Parker, and Hilary Rodham Clinton. I look up to bitches.
     
  4. Kubla Kahn

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    He's not real but he's still a national treasure:

    [​IMG]

    "I could teach you how to make a bomb out of a roll of toilet paper and a stick of dynamite."

    In all seriousness. I didn't grow up in a sports addicts house hold like most people. I never looked up to any professional athletes. We were gun nuts, the Dale Gribble thing isn't too far off, so I did grow up idolizing Charlton Heston and his work on and off screen. I loved Planet of the Apes and it was one of my dad's favorites. He gave me a commemorative silver bullet with Heston's laser etched signature on it that I have to this day. He came from the golden age of movies and was a class act, something that is hard to find these days. He also stood up for what he believed in, in an industry that is as far removed from his beliefs as possible.
     
  5. lugmastro

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    Good hero, but know your history Teddy Ballgame was a Marine. Naval Aviator, but still a Marine.
     
  6. Maltob14

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    Anyone who does their job because it's the right thing to do regardless of personal comfort or wellbeing can be considered a hero as far as I'm concerned. With this in mind you really don't want to name one person over another so that no one is left out. But the people who leave me in awe, dumbstruck by their abilities, selflessness and courage are the USAF Pararescue and Canadian SAR Techs. These guys have it all. Brains, balls and brawn rolled into one. Hell, just look at the PJ motto: That others may live. Makes you pause for a second to take that all in.
     
  7. scootah

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    Ben Salomon is the reason why Japanese people are scared of dentists.

    During WW2, Salomon, a Dentist volunteered for the US army. Realizing that very few people needed dental work in combat, when his Batallion's surgeon was injured - he volunteered to take over. While tending his wounded, he saw a Japanese soldier bayoneting wounded, he snatched a gun from one of the wounded guys holster and shot the Japanese soldier dead. Two more charged through the tent entrance. Ben snatched up a rifle clubbed them both, then shot one and bayoneted the other. Four more began to crawl under the sides of the tent. He shot one, bayoneted one, stabbed another with a knife, and head butted the fourth.

    An unarmed dentist who was volunteering as a surgeon killed 7 armed enemy soldiers, while still tending his wounded. That's incredible by itself. He realized that the position was compromised and ran out of the tent for help and saw that the position was lost. Salomon ordered the wounded to evac, grabbed a rifle and went to help the massively out numbered infantry troops remaining around his position. The last time he was seen alive, he was manning a machine gun. And to stress, the man was a fucking dentist.

    When the American's retook the ground, they found that Salomon had killed so many enemy soldiers that he had had to move his machine gun four times to get a field of fire clear of bodies. The found 98 enemy bodies dead in front of his final position having taken wounds from his weapon. Salomon took 24 bullet wounds before he died and 52 more (and numerous bayonet injuries) after his death. Apparently the Japanese soldiers who survived the angry dentist's rampage were concerned that he might come back as a zombie and start fucking them up again.

    It took 48 years for Salomon to get his Medal of Honor, while the people who'd fought with him argued that he had only taken up weapons from the hands and bodies of his wounded patients, and only as an act of defense. Some accounts suggest that the fact that he was Jewish also hindered his application.

    I love reading the history of MoH winners, but Salomon stands out as an incredible everyman, in unimaginable conditions - doing something so far beyond the capability of any normal human being. He is a phenomenal example of duty and sacrifice, and the phenomenal capability of a good man with a righteous purpose.
     
  8. jordan_paul

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    These guys look like they've seen some shit.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Captain Apathy

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    A few names come to mind:

    [​IMG]

    Cormac McCarthy. He wrote great novels in obscurity for decades, living without electricity and subsisting on beans. Then he became famous, an event that spurred him to write even better novels.

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    Vaclav Havel. Probably the closest we'll ever get to a philosopher-king. Wrote plays for a living, then decided to take on the communist government. Survived four years in prison and many more of official harassment. He led the peaceful Velvet Revolution, became president, and turned the Czech Republic into a model for post-Cold War Eastern Europe. I highly recommend his two memoirs: "Disturbing the Peace" and "To the Castle and Back."

    [​IMG]

    Seriously? It's Teddy Roosevelt! Do I really need to go over his lengthy resume of badassery?
     
  10. Allord

    Allord
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    There are no words I can speak that would do my battle-hardened heroes justice, so I shall practice an uncharacteristic moment of silence to let their greatness sink in:

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    Pee Wee Herman

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    Russian Soldier #3 (in the middle)


    This tub of lard (pictured left of the fat man)

    That is all.
     
    #10 Allord, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  11. Brobdingnagian

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    4 touchdowns in a single game!

    Focus:

    This guy. If I woke up every morning to hear another story about another criminal who received a savage beating from an old man, well I'd probably be a much happier person.
     
  12. Crown Royal

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    One of mine is no doubt Dar Robinson, "The Ultimate Stunt Man". He holds many records and pioneered decelerators for movie free-fall deaths, he jumped off the CN Tower twice (including the notorious BASE jump for the movie Highpoint), but his greatest feat was the stunt he did for the Burt Reynolds film Sharkey's Machine, what I call the greatest movie stunt of all time:

    The stunt called for Henry Silva's character to get shot and fly out of a window to his death. Robinson set up black powder charges on a window, ran full speed down a hallway, lept through the window as the charges exploded and fell blind dead-centre into an airbag 24 fucking stories below.

    ...There may be three men that ever lived that could pull something like that off. With CGI, the stuntman is a dying breed and guys like this are something to worship. Robinson never broke a bone once in almost 20 years of stunts, before getting himself perished by accidently riding a motorcycle off a cliff during a routine drive-by for a shit B-movie in 1986.
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