Real-life heroes live

Hobie Brown - Associate Editor

Hobie Brown – Associate Editor

Growing up, I had several heroes I looked up to. Everyone did. People like Superman, He-Man, the “Immortal” Hulk Hogan, and even George Strait. When I heard the sounds of “Real American” on Saturday mornings, I knew Hogan was coming to the ring to drop the signature leg drop for the three-count. I could sit in my bedroom with my parent’s eight-track player and listen to the Beach Boys, Elvis, and George.

One of my earliest “feats” as a child was not leaping over a building in a single bound. It was performing Strait’s “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” at the age of 4. Not exactly a song that one would expect a 4-year-old to be singing, but it was cute. He was my hero.

November will mark the ninth year since one of my personal heroes passed on. That hero was my Grandpa Hobert, and not a day goes by when I don’t remember all the good times we had.

Grandpa was probably one of the orneriest people you could ever meet. His love for flying his remote airplanes led to many hours at the golf course, watching the single prop Snoopy Red Baron plane grace the sky. He also loved to throw horseshoes and enjoyed drinking tea and beer. Rarely seen without a flannel shirt and overalls, he could spend days out in the backyard enjoying life. It is something I always will remember.

When Grandpa lost his battle to cancer, I honestly felt part of myself passing with him. There would be no more early morning pancakes, no watching the Chicago Cubs and wrestling on television. He would not be there to umpire Little League ball games, or to watch the growing orneriness in his grandchildren.

The hardest thing I had to do was accept the fact that he was going to die. Sitting in the doctor’s office with my grandma and my aunt, hearing the news was crippling. It broke me-literally, spirituality and mentally.

Working for a radio station, I sometimes hear a song that will elicit an emotion. But when I saw Brad Paisley perform “When I Get Where I’m Going” live at Buffalo Run Casino in August, it only took three notes of the song to bring me back to my grandfather. And I was broken again, sitting in a field surrounded by strangers, wishing I could tell him just how much I’ve missed him.

Since we talk about heroes being those who are in the military or those who are working for emergency response services, it is important to remember the other heroes we have. It may be hard to remember the good times we had, but at least he gave us one Hell of a ride.