Childhood Idols

Who did you idolize when you were a kid?

Ah, the infamous hero question. First, I don’t really remember a lot of my childhood since it was obliterated by a major head trauma. Second, is whomever I idolized as a child still relevant today? Most likely, the answer is no.

I don’t really trust my childhood taste. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid. Actually, that’s not a fitting example since I’d still like to be an astronaut. I would love the opportunity to leave this stinkin’ planet once in my life. I liked crap music, crap books and crap movies when I was a kid. I adored music then that makes me cringe today with the exception of Prokofiev’s Peter And The Wolf. I read horrible books like Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys when I wasn’t even in double digits. I watched terrible movies like E. T. and thought they were swell.


Even if I did remember more of my childhood, I’m not so certain that I idolized anyone. At least, no one of significance or fame that would still be worthy of admiration today. I had crushes on movie stars and pop music icons like everyone else, but I am pretty sure that I didn’t have many proper and fitting idols.

I suppose if I had to pick someone, it would probably be my father. My dad worked hard, really hard. He worked more than he didn’t. Even when he wasn’t at his job, he always had one or two home improvement projects in the works. He could build things with his hands. He had skills and tools for every job. He knew how to fix most things. If he couldn’t fix it, he could whip up another one from scratch in a jiffy.

When I was a kid, I followed him around like a puppydog, soaking up all that he had to offer. He showed me how to do things. He showed me how to measure, cut, nail, fasten, level, mount, fix and build most things. He showed me how to use hammers, drills, table and miter saws, vices, plumbers’ tape, electrical tape and any other thing that happened to be necessary to the job at hand.

Over the course of the two plus years that I’ve lived in this house, I have caulked the whole thing, repaired a section of a wall inside, built a brick retaining wall outside, laid some cement, replaced a toilet, replaced the plumbing under the kitchen sink, snaked the bathroom drains, built some shelves, installed screen doors, put up some siding, replaced a window, sanded, plastered, painted, waterproofed, etc. Because of my dad, I have the skills, knowledge and confidence to do all of that. Even if I didn’t, I knew that he was just a phone call away with assistance. I have my own toolbox and I know what each tool in it does. So, while I really can’t come up with a proper answer to this question, my dad is as good a person to idolize as any.

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