Shortarmguy's Inspirational Page
On this page, I will post the most inspirational material I receive on any given day. So email firstname.lastname@example.org the best stuff you get. Life can be darn tough sometimes and every now and then you might need a little happiness booster. I’m hoping this page may accomplish that. After you read a few of these, you can push back from your keyboard, throw your arms in the air, wave them back and forth and scream “I’m glad to be alive!” If this happens to you, please send pictures and I’ll post them here!
July 28, 2002
July 22, 2002
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.
One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to return to the carrier.
Reluctantly he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet. As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold. A squadron of Japanese bombers were speeding their way toward the American fleet. The American fighters were gone on a sortie and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn’t reach his squadron
and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor, could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger.
There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber’s blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another.
Butch weaved in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many
planes as possible until finally all his ammunition was spent.
Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to at least clip off a wing or tail, in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly. He was desperate to do anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships.
Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O’Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.
Upon arrival he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch’s daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had destroyed five enemy bombers. That was on February 20, 1942, and for that action he became the Navy’s first Ace of W.W.II and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.
A year later he was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of that heroic action die. And today, O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.
So the next time you’re in O’Hare visit his memorial with his statue and Medal of Honor.
It is located between Terminal 1 and 2.
STORY NUMBER TWO:
Some years earlier there was a man in Chicago called Easy Eddie. At that time, Al Capone virtually owned the city. Capone wasn’t famous for anything heroic. His exploits were anything but praise-worthy. He was, however, notorious for enmeshing the city of Chicago in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.
Easy Eddie was Capone’s lawyer and for a good reason. He was very good!
In fact, his skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time. To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big; Eddie got special dividends. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago city block. Yes, Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.
Eddy did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddy saw to it that his young son had the best of everything; clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object. And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong.
Yes, Eddie tried to teach his son to rise above his own sordid life. He wanted him to be a better man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things that Eddie couldn’t give his son. two things that Eddie sacrificed to the Capone mob that he could not pass on to his beloved son: a good name and a good example.
One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Offering his son a good name was far more important than all the riches he could lavish on him. He had to rectify all the wrong that he had done. He would go to the authorities and tell the truth about “Scar-face” Al Capone. He would try to clean up his tarnished name and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this he must testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. But more than anything, he wanted to be an example to his son.
He wanted to do his best to make restoration and hopefully have a good name to leave his son. So, he testified. Within the year, Easy Eddie’s life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago street. He had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer at the greatest price he would ever pay.
What do these two stories have to do with one another?
Butch O’Hare was Easy Eddie’s son.
July 7, 2002
Take out a one dollar bill, and look at it. The one dollar bill you’re looking at first came off the presses in 1957 in its present design. This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It is actually material. We’ve all washed it without it falling apart. A special blend of ink is used, the contents we will never know. It is overprinted with symbols and then it is starched to make it water resistant and pressed to give it that nice crisp look.
If you look on the front of the bill, you will see the United States Treasury Seal. On the top you will see the scales for a balanced budget. In the center you have a carpenter’s square, a tool used for an even cut. Underneath is the Key to the United States Treasury. That’s all pretty easy to figure out, but what is on the back of that dollar bill is something we should all know.
If you turn the bill over, you will see two circles. Both circles, together, comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved.
If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. Notice the face is lighted, and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could do for Western Civilization. The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin’s belief that one man couldn’t do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything.
“IN GOD WE TRUST” is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means, “God has favored our undertaking.” The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, means, “a new order has begun.” At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776. If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery, and is the centerpiece of most hero’s monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States, and it is always visible whenever he speaks, yet very few people know what the symbols mean.
The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: First, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong, and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England. Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle’s beak you will read, “E PLURIBUS UNUM”, meaning, “one nation from many people”.
Above the Eagle, you have thirteen stars, representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again, we were coming together as one. Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.
They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number. This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But think about this: 13 original colonies, 13 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 13 stripes on our flag, 13 steps on the Pyramid, 13 letters in the Latin above, 13 letters in “E Pluribus Unum”, 13 stars above the Eagle, 13 bars on that shield, 13 leaves on the olive branch, 13 fruits, and if you look closely, 13 arrows. And, for minorities: the 13th Amendment.
“Why don’t people know this?” Your children don’t know this, and their history teachers don’t know this. Too many veterans have given up too much to ever let the meaning fade. Many veterans remember coming home to an America that didn’t care. Too many veterans never came home at all.
June 16, 2002
Some things you keep. Like good teeth. Warm coats.
Bald husbands. They’re good for you, reliable and
practical and so sublime that to throw them away would
make the garbage man a thief.
So you hang on, because something old is sometimes
better than something new, and what you know is often
better than a stranger.
These are my thoughts, they make me sound old, old and
tame, and dull at a time when everybody else is risky
and racy and flashing all that’s new and improved in
New careers, new thighs, new lips, new cars. The world
is dizzy with trade-ins. I could keep track, but I
don’t think I want to!
I grew up in the fifties with practical parents ; a
mother, God bless her, who washed aluminum foil after
she cooked in it, then reused it – and still does. A
father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than
buying new ones. They weren’t poor, my parents, they
were just satisfied. Their marriage was good, their
dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.
I can see them now, Dad in trousers and tee
shirt and Mom in a housedress, lawnmower in one¹s
hand, dishtowel in the other¹s. It was a time for
fixing things; a curtain rod, the kitchen radio,
screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress.
Things you keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes
it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, reheating,
renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste
meant affluence. Throwing things away meant there’d
always be more.
But then my father died, and on that clear autumn
night, in the chill of the hospital room, I was struck
with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t
any ‘more.’ Sometimes what you care about most gets
all used up and goes away, never to return.
So, while you have it, it’s best to love it and care
for it and fix it when it’s broken and heal it when
it’s sick. That’s true for marriage and old cars and
children with bad report cards and dogs with bad hips
and aging parents. You keep them because they’re worth
it, because you’re worth it.
Some things you keep. Like a best friend that moved
away or a classmate you grew up with, there’s just
some things that make life important….people you
know are special….and you KEEP them close!
June 9, 2002
Subject: A Parent’s Job Description
JOB DESCRIPTION: Long-term team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.
RESPONSIBILITIES: For the rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must
be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
WAGES AND COMPENSATION: You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.