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June 25, 2020


Tonight's theme is offbeat heroes. We are using "offbeat" in the sense of "insane." A good example is Larry Walters, an aviation pioneer. As he said, quote, "A man can't just sit around." 


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I never heard of him, but after He was pointed out, there is no way to top Larry Walters, no way.

The Scout. A short story.

Ok. Personal hero. My dad got lost on patrol one night near the 38th parallel in Korea. He, having become lost, stumbled upon a enemy ammunition dump, a very large one. He, and the couple of guys he was with, called it in on a radio. Our warplanes visited the site shortly after the call and destroyed it. My dad was up for a medal for his scouting skills. My dad had a lawn chair, but never tried to fly in it.

After watching the off-beat movie, "Ed Wood", Ed Wood is my off-beat hero. "Dreams are worth fighting for".

I'll nominate SR-71 test pilot Paul F. Crickmore, who is quoted as having said, "You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3."

I prefer my hereos to be more earth-bound by nature One of them being the creator of the "Reuben sandwich"
...This from the wiki: "One origin story holds that Reuben Kulakofsky (his first name sometimes spelled Reubin; his last name sometimes shortened to Kay), a Jewish Lithuanian-born grocer residing in Omaha, Nebraska, was the inventor, perhaps as part of a group effort by members of Kulakofsky's weekly poker game held in the Blackstone Hotel from around 1920 through 1935. The participants, who nicknamed themselves "the committee", included the hotel's owner, Charles Schimmel. The sandwich first gained local fame when Schimmel put it on the Blackstone's lunch menu, and its fame spread when a former employee of the hotel won a national contest with the recipe.[2] In Omaha, March 14 was proclaimed Reuben Sandwich Day.[3] Mention is made of this sandwich in a scene within the movie Quiz Show, where Richard N. Goodwin (known as Dick) orders and eats one in a restaurant with Charles van Doren, and they discuss the sandwich's origins. ...whenever I think of sauerkraut & corned beef, a tear comes to my eye.

Also, I feel I would be remiss if I failed to include an honorable mention to one unsung hero known only as "Sloppy-Joe" somewhere in the wilds of northern NJ ...and this from the wiki:"This article is about the sandwich made in New Jersey. For the more common sandwich made from loose ground beef, see sloppy joe.
Sloppy Joe Main ingredients thin sliced Rye bread, sliced meat, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing
Cookbook: Sloppy Joe
In parts of northern New Jersey, a sloppy joe is a cold delicatessen sandwich. There are minor variations depending on the deli, but it is always a double decker thin sliced rye bread sandwich made with one or more types of sliced deli meat, such as turkey, ham, pastrami, corned beef, roast beef, or sliced beef tongue, along with Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and Russian dressing.[1]

Ham is often considered the standard meat. Some delis that offer the New Jersey sloppy joe, such as Mr. J's Deli in Cranford, label the ham version as a regular joe. The Millburn Deli in Millburn is a noted sloppy joe maker.[2][3]

The Town Hall Deli in South Orange claims to have invented the New Jersey sloppy joe in the 1930s.[4] According to the deli's owner, a Maplewood politician, Thomas Sweeney, returned from a vacation in Cuba, where he spent time at a bar named Sloppy Joe's—from which the Key West bar obtained its name. The bar's owner laid out fixings for patrons, who put sandwiches together. Sweeney asked Town Hall to cater his poker games with the same sort of sandwiches, and they caught on.[3][5]

In the '50s, several Jewish delis in Newark and surroundings were also selling the sandwich, including Places like Tabatchnicks, Kartzman's, Karpen's Deli in Passaic, and Union Pantry in Union.[citation needed]

Mainstream supermarkets in the region, such as King's, sometimes label sandwiches turkey sloppy joes to distinguish them from the ground beef sandwich of the same name. A similar sandwich referred to as the New York deli turkey sandwich is also found in New York City and the region. It is similar to the Sloppy Joe in that it includes cole slaw and Russian dressing and usually comes on rye bread. However, it is not normally a double decker and is not usually cut in three wedges". ...and on the other end of this night's theme's spectrum anybody here remember the balloon-boy incident?

No idea who he was, but one time in the Rio Grande Valley, I saw a cropduster flying UNDER the power lines as he flew across the highway to spray fields on both sides.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/celebrity/dixie-chicks-change-their-name/ar-BB15Y3jJ Nothing heroic going on here, folks, now move along! ...First it was Earl, and now this?

If we're talking about food related heroes then I have add "The First person to eat an Oyster".

Have you ever had a pea crab? Found inside mollusks, & rumored to be George Washington's favorite delicacy. Of course if the first person didn't shuck it, you might mean the second person?

Good news! I discovered, browsing through the blog archive, that the recent Typepad outage and "fix" has reopened the comments to all past blog posts. So if you've just now thought of a witty comment to a post Dave made in August 2004, here's your chance.

Yes, we all concur, Dave's posts are timeless. Perhaps a theme for another night: "Time waits for not one man, but for all, who comment, here on the blog!"

One of the historical blunders where the perpetrator may not have been a hero to everyone, certainly became the world's worst copyeditor.
In 1631 Royal Printers, Robert Barker and Martin Lucas. printed a new edition of the newly translated version of the King James Bible. The copyeditor failed to notice that one of the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:14, read "Thou Shalt Commit Adultery."
The Bible went into print and sold many copies before the mistake was noted and the proverbial crap hit the air circulation device.

Sadly, history doesn't record the name or fate of this copyeditor.

On the subject of food heroes, I would nominate the first person to make a chart of edible mushrooms.

Due to the state of women's education in the early 1600's I suspect a dearth of proof-reading women is largely to blame. As the saying goes: "behind every successful man, is a woman reminding him just why that is".

Let us not forget the original hero, who was appropriately called " Hero ".

Sorry for an unimaginative choice: James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle. He was the real thing. Military genius, incredible pilot, innovator, industry leader - in fact, a leader in all aspects of his life. Read his autobiography "I Could Never Be So Lucky Again" while we are locked up, for some real enjoyment. People of his caliber don't come along very often.


Wrong Way Corrigan

I nominate pilot Lowell Ferguson.

The City of Buffalo, WY used to hold an annual celebration called "Lowell Ferguson Days" in honor of the Western Airlines pilot who mistakenly landed a Boeing 737 there instead of the intended destination of Sheridan, WY.

The people of Buffalo had been asking for jet airliner service, but had been told their airport's runways were too short.

Ferguson's 'mistake' put Buffalo, WY on the map.

Willy Nelson

The Mom and Pop at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo who invented the greatest food known to man: hot wings.

OK, this sounds a little weird for a hero, but as a chemical engineer, I take my hat off to him.

"Sadi Carnot ... was a French mechanical engineer in the French Army, military scientist and physicist ... he published only one book, the 'Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire' (Paris, 1824), in which he expressed, at the age of 27 years, the first successful theory of the maximum efficiency of heat engines [e.g. steam engines, a main driver of the Industrial Revolution]. In this work he laid the foundations of an entirely new discipline, thermodynamics. Carnot's work attracted little attention during his lifetime, but it was later used by Rudolf Clausius and Lord Kelvin to formalize the second law of thermodynamics and define the concept of entropy ... Carnot retired from the army in 1828, without a pension."

I know drummers from several bands that were off beat - though heroes, I'm not so sure.

The guy who just paid $6 million for Kurt Cobain's acoustic guitar that he used on MTV Unplugged.

Anyone who helps the economy out that much is a hero in my book!


Hunter S. Thomson

I saw the movie about him. It was pretty good: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337960/

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