Thursday, January 10, 2008

Goodbye Jock and Sir Ed!

As Don has noted, George MacDonald Fraser has passed on, and we'll never know what Flashy really did during the Civil War. Ain't it enough to know that he saved India not once, but at least twice, for the Empire? Not so great perhaps if you're Indian, but if your a Victorian Englishman what could be a greater achievement? Fraser sent me a note once in response to a letter of mine. He was very gracious and glad I liked "Flashy" as he referred to him. Little did he know....

Another hero of mine as also passed on. Sir Edmund Hillary has died at the age of 88. See the obit here.

I've never been any kind of climber. Indeed, I suffer from a stout case of acrophobia on static objects. Low altitude rock climbing can have my palms sweating and me thinking about how much nicer it would be to just take the stairs. Still, Hillary's exploits were the stuff of romance for me as a kid. His adventures went along with the voyages of the Yankee, Thor Heyerdahl, and Colin Fletcher as engines of my imagination. The desire to sail among the islands of Micronesia, or walk the length of Africa, or sit at Everst Base Camp and stare all still simmer within and I have Sir Ed to thank for much of that heat. You never know, one of these days I might actually have "an adventure."

Good night Sir Ed, wherever you are.