Archive for January, 2011

Major Dick Winters

Posted in History, People with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2011 by Jordan

Last night a tweet from Tom Hanks informed me that one of my heroes died last week.  Major Dick Winters died on January 2nd at the age of 92 after succumbing to a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

 

An ordinary man in his own eyes, Maj. Winters rose to fame in 1992 with the publication of Stephen Ambrose’s book Band of Brothers.  This bestseller documents the story of Maj. Winters and E Company of the 506th Regiment in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army from D Day to VE Day.  Maj. Winters obtained his place in mainstream infamy in 2001 when Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks produced the story of Maj. Winters and E Company in a 10 part mini series based on Ambrose’s bestseller also called Band of Brothers.

 

A couple of years ago I picked up Maj. Winters memoirs called Beyond Band of Brothers.  In those memoirs Maj. Winters talked about his desire during the war to make it home safely and live his life in peace.  After the war, Maj. Winters lived a quiet and private life mostly outside of Hersey, Pennsylvania where he worked for himself as a farm supply salesman.  As a decorated war veteran, he is noted for his leadership and ability to lead by example in tough situations. However, he was never comfortable with the term “hero” when describing himself and that is why prior to his passing he requested that his death be kept private until after his funeral, which took place this past week.

 

It’s difficult to say how the story of a man I have never met and that is 66 years older than myself has resonated so deeply within me.  However, I think the appeal of Maj. Winters’ story is that it is one of an ordinary man who did extraordinary things because unforeseen circumstances required it of him.  All the while, he remained humble and indebted to his fellow soldiers.

 

I’m sure there are thousands of stories from WWII that are similar to Maj. Winters but most of those veterans are no longer with us to share their stories.  The average living WWII veteran is in their late 80s and some 1000 WWII veterans die worldwide everyday.  Time is running out to celebrate the lives of these living heroes but thanks to the documentation in Band of Brothers, Major Dick Winter will live in infamy.

 

 

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Life Alert for Life

Posted in Technology, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2011 by Jordan

This world is an unpredictable place and one can never be too safe and caution while living in it, that’s why I just made a call to Life Alert.  Life Alert’s cutting edge and state of the art commercials convinced me that trouble is always right around the corner and that I can never be too prepared for dangerous situations.  If I had a nickel for every time I slipped in the shower and was unable to get up I would have zero extra cents.   However, Life Alert works like insurance.  You may not need it now but when you do… it will be sweet.

 

Back in the day when I was a Sandwich Artist working at Subway we used Life Alert on a daily basis.  For example, a guy asked for extra cheese one day.  I informed him that it would be an extra 50 cents for extra cheese.  He made it very clear that he would be taking the extra cheese but would not be paying the extra 50 cents.  As a result, I was forced to dial into Life Alert.

 

The conversation went something like this:

 

“Sandwich Artist Jordan, this is Life Alert.  Are you OK?”

“Not really, I think this guy wants extra cheese for free!”

“Hold on let me check… THIS IS LIFE ALERT, EXTRA CHEESE COSTS 50 CENTS.  PAY THE EXTRA 50 CENTS OR LEAVE NOW!”

“But Tim Horton’s gives extra cheese for free.”

“I FIND THAT VERY HARD TO BELIEVE, THE PROFIT MARGINS OF PROVIDING EXTRA CHEESE FOR FREE WOULD REDUCE THE TOTAL REVENUE OF A COMPANY TO MERE PENNIES!”

“No no, Tim Horton’s makes all their revenue off of coffee sales.”

“REALLY?  WELL, IT SOUNDS LIKE TIM HORTON’S HAS IT ALL FIGURED OUT.”

“Yeah, they have a pretty good operation over there.”

“IT SOUNDS LIKE IT!… WELL… HAVE A GOOD DAY.”

 

So then I gave the guy extra cheese for free… All thanks to Life Alert!

 

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