We all have heroes, some of us quite a few, and they range from our fathers/mothers to a work mate to historicasl figures, sport stars or even, heaven’s above, politicians. I gotta tell you, when you sit down to name just five of the people who have inspired you in some way or another, the usual problem arises, who to leave out. But never fear, here at the South West Voice Top Five department (that’ll be me) we can handle a wee bit of pressure, so here goes, for better or worse:
Number 5: Dashiell Hammett. Dashiell who? I hear you ask. Yes indeed, Dash wouln’t be that well known now but in my constant search to improve my writing style I bumped into Mr Hammett a few years back, and what a joy he was to read – and imitate. What did he write? Plenty, but the one most of you lot will know is The Maltese Falcon, but there were others, such as Red Harvest, The Thin Man and The Glass Key. I’m no Hammett, by a long shot, but I’d like to think I am a better writer having read him. And I still read him from time to time to refresh the memory.
Number 4: Alexander the Great. When I first read the story of this gallant young commander from the northern Greek state of Macedonia I couldn’t get over how young he was yet his armies had managed to capture most of the then known world, including all the way to parts of India. The fact that the son of King Philip of Macedonia died at the young age of 33 just added to the romance for me. I actually named one of my sons Alexander.
Number 3: Allan Border. I am the same age as Captain Cranky and followed his career from the very start when he got selected because Kerry Packer stole our top players for World Series Cricket back in the day. The thing you noticed with Border was what a gutsy player he was, not easily intimidated by anybody. I am sure Steve Waugh subconsciously modelled himself on Border. And he was also my hero because he hung in there year after year of being demolished by the great Windies sides, as well as England – the shame of it – until in 1989 we smashed back the Poms to win the Ashes and it was all success from then on, finally. Border deserved every bit of it. He had earned it.
Number 2: Paul Keating. Yep, a politician, the Placido Domingo of Australian politics no less. Full of flaws like all great leaders/heroes, but I wish he got another couple of terms. We would be a republic, for starters, and a mightier country, more independent. As a bonus, Gillard and Rudd wouldn’t have risen so high. No, not a bonus, a bloody huge bonus.
Number 1: Steve Jobs. If I had done the Top Five a year ago the late Apple computer whiz would not have rated a mention. But after reading his biography I have come to fully appreciate how much of a difference to our lives this man made before dying so young at the age of 55. He says in the book that he wanted to put “a dent in the universe” which was his arrogant way of saying he wanted to make a difference. All I can say is how did we ever survive without an iphone?