80s, Bill Nye, Calvin, Childhood, geek, Green Ranger, INSPIRATION, Jack Horkheimer, Sam Bekkett, Sgt Slaughter, Soundwave, Splinter, Spock, Steve Urkel
I am happy to say that, for the most part, I had a pretty good childhood. This was due to the fact that I had parents who loved me and a roof over my head. It was not perfect though. To this day I still have some unresolved issues with my father. Now before I move on I need state something, my dad is a relatively good man. I know he may be reading this and I want the record to show that I love him dearly and I know that he loves me too. The problem is the communication, or rather lack there of. We both mean well but the connection is just not 100%. There are many ways that he does inspire me but I will not get into that here since this is not a “personal” blog nor is it the time or place.
The point of this post is to discuss other figures that have inspired or shaped me to the glorious man that I am today. The title for this piece may be a little misleading since I was, in fact, not created in a test tube. I did spend a fair amount of time watching television and reading. I tend to find personal connections to certain characters that I can relate to or hold traits that I respect. Here is my take on ten figures that I connect with due to their personality traits or the things that they have done;
The “Star Gazer” is a great guy because he had a way to get nearly anyone excited about the stars. As a child, he taught me about the night sky and some of its mystery. He has inspired me to be open and enthusiastic about the subjects I care about.
Urkel is an original geek and he is a figure to model after. I know that may sound silly but hear me out. Urkel was never afraid to let his “freak flag fly” because he was a happy and caring person. Until the later episodes of the show, he was also an inspiration for being comfortable with who you are.
What is there not to love about the legendary Vulcan? Even though he struggles to find his place coming from a mix of two very different cultures, he strives to be his best. Even though he is an efficiency machine, he still can indulge his “humanity” when the moment is right.
It is hard to find someone with a brilliant mind that is also humble and good at heart. It is true what they say. “Knowledge is power” and with that power often comes corruption. In Sam’s case that is not true. Even though he starts his journey doing good to get home, he eventually feels a drive to do “good” just for the sake of others. This alone is an inspiration.
No other character can sum up my childhood better than Calvin can. His carefree imaginative adventures are similar to many of my own. I cannot claim to have even an ounce of his wit when I was that young but I did not have a writer. To this day he lives on and I see it now in my youngest son who seems to have boundless glee and imagination.
This gentle rat is the ultimate master and teacher. His words are wise and his actions always carry meaning. Even at his old age he has grace and dignity that makes him appear grand. If I were to choose a master to teach me the martial arts he would be my very first choice.
Before anyone gets ideas, I realize this is a villain. Although I cannot deny nor confirm that I may or may not have had any plans to, or not to conquer the planet, that is not why I listed him. The reason he is here is the traits he posses. Good or evil, Soundwave is loyal and hardworking. He works tirelessly for a cause that he truly believes in and will not let his faith be waivered. Apply these qualities to a good cause and you have a winner.
Sergeant Slaughter is here for the sole fact that he is an in-your-face ass kicker. He will lay you out if it meant that it will straighten you out. He is also a good friend and will lay his own life on the line to save another. He may not always be to most tactile man but he gets the job done and he will make sure all his teammates will finish together.
The Green Ranger was just cool. As a kid I always wanted to be him and kick evil in the rear. Tommy may have a bit of a dark side but if you are not one to judge a book by its cover, you will find that he has a kind heart and cares for his friends. In addition to that, he is also disciplined and good in a fight.
Doctor Who eat-your-heart-out! The science guy has been sporting that tie like a pro long before Matt Smith. This is the original man who made me think science is cool. He has all sorts of neat information and delivers it with class and personality. Oh he is also an honorary doctor.
Matthew Curry said:
Jack Horkheimer? So that was his name. I have memories of him too. His show (which was only a few minutes long, as I remember it) came on Saturday nights on PBS after “Doctor Who.” I still think about him sometimes. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad I’m not the only one who remembers him!
They were little segments where he would talk about things that would be visible in the sky at certain times of the year. I actually have a couple of friends that got to meek him in person the year before he died. I guess he was a really laid back guy and super nice.
Matthew Curry said:
That’s incredible. But I’m sorry to hear he’s no longer with us. 😦 I remember the music at the beginning was beautiful and kind of spooky.
I loved that opening music. It was a little on the eerie side but it was fun.
Matthew Curry said:
Yes!!! Especially late at night, right after Doctor Who went off. Very eerie!
Great list, and have a few of them on my own, but have to go with Doctor Who over Bill Nye – the sonic screwdriver is like an intergalactic Swiss army knife.
And where’s McGyver? 😉
I will not argue about the sonic screwdriver. Doctor Who is a great guy but I didn’t really consider him since he was post childhood (barring the fact that I am a man-child as an “adult”). Not really sure why I didn’t think about MacGyver, perhaps this post may need a part two?