Edmund Hillary, with Tenzing Norgay the first to climb Everest and come back to tell the tale, has died.
It’s a name I had heard from childhood, with a legendary status that will remain unblemished and undiminished. These days we hear of stunts which are supposed to stretch the limits of mans experience on land, sea and air and “recreations” are commonplace for the telly. But in Hillary’s day and before, Scott, Shackleton, these guys were adventurers. Real heroes.
I like the folks who do things first. The rest of us will forever be just going out to play.
I love them, always have. The hardback editions they’ve been releasing the past ten years or so with the old 30s-60s reprints are a total joy.
Lack of regular hours has seen me flicking through a few of these and a few facts that I may have missed before have come before me and this vital information must be conveyed.
- Maw Broon’s first name is Maggie. Her brother comes for a visit and greets her by name. By this reasoning I am declaring Paw to be called Joe. The first born girl and boy taking the parents names.
- Oor Wullie used to have a baby brother or sister. They were written out inexplicably in the early days, for reasons unknown.
- Wullie has moved house, he used to be in a two story and is now in a bungalow. With the same garden, wall and shed.
- The Broons used to live in Glasgow. At some point they, their house, all the other houses, all the people they know, including Wullie (who seemed to live in Bishopbriggs) move to Dundee. Ish.
That last one is as “clever” as what they did with the first two Hellraiser films. The first one was in Englandshire and the second which immediately follows the narrative of first without so much as blink was in the US. Movie makers respect their audience.
I am not a Starfleet commander, or T.J. Hooker. I don’t live on Starship NCC-1701, or own a phaser. And I don’t know anybody named Bones, Sulu, or Spock. And no, I’ve never had green alien sex, though I’m sure it would be quite an evening. I speak English and French, not Klingon! I drink Labatt’s, not Romulan ale! And when someone says to me ‘Live long and prosper’, I seriously mean it when I say, ‘Get a life’. My doctor’s name is not McCoy, it’s Ginsberg. And tribbles were puppets, not real animals. PUPPETS! And when I speak, I never, ever talk like every. Word. Is. Its. Own. Sentence. I live in California, but I was raised in Montreal. And yes, I’ve gone where no man has gone before, but I was in Mexico and her father gave me permission! My name is William Shatner, and I am Canadian!
Black Sabbath, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. This has loomed large in my life, visually and aurally.
Odd how at times of stress, or extreme change we can draw comfort from the familiar, however esoteric, or transient ity may seem to be.
It’s also nice to know that descisions and choices, likes and dislikes made when I was young are defensible. Age adds experience, but doesn’t take away your youthful enthusiasm. You have to give that away all on your own.