A Shout Out to Good and Honorable Men

This was a week for the topic of good and honorable men, the need for them and the recognition of just how badly such men are needed.

This post is long overdue. Back in December 2012, when I first began this blog, I drafted a post on how men and women think differently; something clear to me from the time I was six years old. I never did post it. When you know a subject, you can bore yourself, thinking “same ol, same old stuff.” Today, I went to a memorial service. It was a Celebration of the Life of George Hansen. I never met the man when he was alive and, all afternoon and throughout this evening, I wished I had.

As many of you know, I am a Republican and I serve as a Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) in my District in a little suburb south of Seattle. Word came via email that a fellow PCO had passed away. It was the story of how this man served as a PCO that caught my attention and made me want to go to the service and honor his memory. Here’s what the email said,

“George was the PCO for many years in Trout Lake, and when he began having health problems he called me and said he had to resign. Fact was, George cared so much about the responsibility of being a good PCO, that he was willing to resign rather that let his voters down. After a another person became Trout Lake PCO, and did nothing, George called me up and said “I will apply to be the PCO again. My voters need a PCO.” He had never heard one word from the new PCO after the whole two-year term.

So, George applied online and he won. And though he was not able to walk his Precinct, he got on the phone and did his best by phone. After George had a stroke, his sight was impaired. It slowed him down, but he got a magnifying glass to slowly read the numbers, and carried on. It was hard. He worked on the Romney campaign and the McKenna campaign too. He made a difference because he believed he could make a difference. His attitude kept him active, however he could do his job, to make a difference.

Linda Kochmar [our State Representative] and I walked Trout Lake recently. I didn’t know that George had passed away. I knew he couldn’t walk it so we did it for him. Let me say, it was the most Republican Precinct I’d ever come to know. Flags flying and friendly people. The Walking List showed I’s and R’s [Independents and Republicans] … and the walking showed the influence of a good man, George Hansen.

We would all do well, to learn from George. Nothing dimmed his passion for spreading the word for loving one another.”

It was signed by my good friend, Maureen B.

I am thinking this will be in a small neighborhood local church, though it mentioned the site as a local park. It was indeed a local park with picnic tables, various groups scattered around and no signs indicating where the service might be being held. I saw a couple of people I knew and they, too, were searching for where the group was. Being Washington state, we simply started asking the various family groups picnicking if they knew George and eventually, one group said, “Yes. This is it.” I walked up with Maureen and our State Representative, Linda Kochmar and we sort of paused and waited to see what was planned. People in jeans and shorts were talking to one another, tables spread with tons of food, hot dogs grilling and all pretty low key. I said to our little group of about six fellow Republicans, “Well, I’m going to find out how this is going to work. I’ll be right back.”

I walked up to two men talking. One smiled and introduced himself, “Hi, I’m Bob.” I shook his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Huntie.” There was a pause. I said, “Um, do you know how this is going to work? We’re friends with George and fellow Republicans who wanted to honor his memory.” Bob did some fast thinking and said, “Well, we were all friends with George also.” He cleared his throat. “Hmm, well…. Ordinarily, we value anonymity,” first flag being raised, “but, well, George was in AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, and we just wanted to come together to honor him and his 43 years of sobriety.” Forty-Three years. Take that in.

That was the beginning of learning about George and celebrating his life. It turned out George was a private fellow who kept the many areas of his life separate and distinct. As one of the men said, “I think this was George’s way of truly being present in the here and now. If he was with you, he was with you. Not the other areas of his life, but at that moment in time, the only thing that matter was what he was doing and whom he was doing it with.” Turns out George was a volunteer teacher of special ed kids for years; he was a sponsor of fellow AA members, he was a PCO; and a good husband and father. Over hot dogs, veggies and dip, and a ton of desserts, and a pot of coffee, we swapped stories about George – almost all a surprise to one group or another. After everyone had eaten, the memorial began, with one friend after another stepping forward to speak of how they had known George, each story adding up to a good and honorable, decent man worth knowing and remembering.

I found myself full of joy to recognize such a man existed and had existed, touching these lives, stretching a couple of generations downwards from his own beginnings and outwards into his community. It wasn’t that George was a saint or that he was a hero, though he may well have been as he saw combat in the Korean War. Someone said he was a single issue Republican – 2nd Amendment rights. He was a member of a gun club and taught young and old how to properly handle and respect weapons. I wondered what he would make of all these memories about him coalescing around the impact he had had and whether he had known he was so loved and respected. I always feel these celebrations should be held when the person is still living. And, suddenly, I could feel George was there, leaning against a wall with his arms folded – all 6’4″ of the man, known for his blunt speaking and his patient ways and his insistence on the need for positive affirmations. “It takes eight positives to wipe out a negative.” George used to say.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This was a week for the topic of good and honorable men, the need for them and the recognition of just how badly such men are needed.

That was probably just the right ending for this post. Yep, but I cannot leave it there. I believe that men have been treated badly these past 40 years or more. They have become second class citizens, mocked on television shows, characterized as Neanderthal, chauvinistic, mama’s boys, etc. You know who did that, ladies? We did. In our march forward to be equal, we made the good and honorable men sit down, shut up, and put up. Gentlemen, I apologize.

Thursday evening, I attended a talk given by the Reverend Wayne Perryman, “a well-known conservative minister, author and speaker. He addresses the spiritual, political, cultural, and economic issues affecting Americans. Neither Democrat nor Republican, he tries to stand on neutral ground and evaluate each issue on its own merits. Rev Perryman’s aim is not to condemn or endorse any political party, but to remind us of some historical truths that tend to be overlooked, and enlighten us regarding current matters that are often ignored by the media.” A quick Google search of his name brings up 58,400 hits, some on his books, some on YouTube videos. That night he spoke to us about the need for good men, decent men to step forward. He felt many of the issues of our times can be traced back to the destruction of the traditional family of a mother and a father. He spoke of the high incidence of single women bringing up children, and he is quick to salute the women who do such hard work. And, the grandparents who pick up the slack and step forward. He cited statistics of how much of our current crime, gang problems and prison populations can be traced back to one common influence, among others, but strikingly high. The absence of men in their lives. Good men. Decent men. Honorable men. Men. Period.

I think what slew my heart was when he reminded us of when we were little and we would say, “Well, my daddy is bigger (meaner, tougher, cooler) than your daddy.” Then he paused and into the ensuing silence, he spoke like water dripping on stone, “So many children today cannot say anything that begins with “My Daddy.”

Here are a couple of statistics: Washington Times and Childstats.gov – take a good look.

As we honor our veterans, let us also honor the good and honorable men, decent, good men living all around us. Unnoticed and under valued. Gentlemen, I apologize.

20 thoughts on “A Shout Out to Good and Honorable Men

  1. Speaking as a woman that’s been looking for a decent, good, honourable man – they’re few and far between. I’ll have to think about what you said P. For myself, I tried to instill old fashioned values in my boys, and I think I’ve somewhat succeeded. But they had their grandfather to look up to. difficult thing this about men and how we percieve them…

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    • Yes, it’s a tough subject – it isn’t only how we perceive them, but how they have been portrayed and treated these past 40 years. Yes, there were and are inequities, but they all got hit with the same accusation – that alone wasn’t fair. And, as many have pointed out, men are hardwired – and it is women who rule in the bedroom – so if you say you want a man who more closely resembles the Stay Puff Marshmellow man, we should not be surprised when we get it.

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      • J ~ I went for a walking thinking about what you had written – I want to salute you for raising your boys as you have; I think we let the roar and noise of “women’s liberation” and their demands go without challenge – yes, there were good results but there were bad results as well – that old throwing the men out with the bath water thing. The movies, the TV, the laws, and let us never forget lawsuits have backfired – we were told we didn’t need men to succeed or to live – well, okay, then. We reap what we have sown – whether we did it ourselves or allowed others to keep on talking.

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  2. Hunt, what a touching piece, I would have enjoyed meeting and talking with George. He seemed to be a good man, who spread himself as he needed to accomplish what he wanted. He would have been someone I looked up to, and someone I could use as a model for a part of myself. When I was in the Navy we said “One ah Shit, completely wipes out your attaboys.” And this is so true. Reverend Wayne Perryman is another man I would enjoy listening to and having a face to face. You are quite fortunate to have folks like George and Reverend Perryman in your cycle no matter how slim the connection is. Good men with good messages, shared as best they could (in George’s case) and has the Reverend continues. Having the ability to reach out and help, to touch a heart and soul. A wonderful post, about true Americans, with important messages that they shared. Thank you, take care, Bill

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      • Huntie, The words I used about these two gentlemen remain the same. I would have enjoyed their company. As for being on this list, time will tell if I even deserve even an honorable mention. But I am damn glad we have become friends. Take care, Bill

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  3. Wow. This was an extra special man. Not only did he overcome his own demons but he threw himself whole, into helping others. I am always in awe of some people. How do they gather their strength, courage and hearts afire for the good of others. I am speechless.

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  4. Love this one, Hunt. I was blessed with a good and honorable father with a terrific British sense of humor. On this Father’s Day, it’s wonderful to be reminded of how lucky I was to have him for so many years. Beautiful homage to George as a perfect metaphor for all good and honorable men. Thank you, my friend. ❤

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  5. I appreciate the re-post too! The affection and respect for good men cannot be said often enough for me! George would have been so surprised to hear that he was spoken of with this reverence. George was a big man with the smallest of egos. It’s a joy to remember his spunk, gumption and love of all people.

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