We called him ‘Stormin’ Norman–King of the Bloodsuckers.’
His real name was Norm McMullen and I understand that he died a few years ago in his late-fifties. I don’t know any of the details but have to believe that he left this world kicking and screaming.
Norm was the first real dare-devil that I knew on a personal basis. He seemed to know no fear. If there was a challenge, he would accept it. Once, when we were playing "cowboys and Indians," he fell off a parked railroad car and broke his collar bone.
It was a different time back in the 1950′s when my friends and I would swim in Crane Creek meandering through my little hometown of Lawler, Iowa. There was a railroad bridge over the creek that seemed very high to all of us. Only the bravest of the brave would dare plunge into the depths below. In reality, my guess now is that it was only ten feet or so from the water. At the time, however, we viewed it as an enormous feat tackled only by the bravest of the brave. Norm jumped off the bridge only when all eyes were on him—with reckless abandon and great flourish shouting, "Here I come! Tarzan–King of the Jungle!"
There followed a huge cannon ball splash as he savored our admiration for his courage each of the dozens of time we saw it that glorious summer. One day, however, there was a startling modification to his ritual. Waiting until he was the center of attention, Norm stood at the edge yelling at the top of his lungs, "Here I come. Tarzan…king of the…" Down he went into the murky waters of Crane Creek only to quickly emerge with the final words of his proclamation, "…eeeeek. Bloodsuckers!"
Sure enough, our hero was covered with tiny black leeches that drove the rest of us to the sandy banks of the creek in shear terror.
That day a new moniker was born: "Stormin’ Norman–King of the Bloodsuckers."
Why do I relate that tale?
Because Norm had a sense of adventure and courage that would be good for all entrepreneurs to emulate. He wasn’t the type of guy who would wear a belt and suspenders at the same time. He wouldn’t take a map to go on a trip. I’ll bet he bungee-jumped when he was forty.
I admire someone who is willing to take risks and hope for the best knowing full-well that the proverbial dive into the water has its elements of danger but does it anyway because the reward outweighs the risk. It is something that the small-business owner does every day the shop is open.
Hat’s off to you, Stormin’ Norman. May the rest of us follow your lead in some small way?
Bill Sheridan—"Sheridan Writes" See my bio under Guest Authors
Bill Sheridan—"Sheridan Writes"
See my bio under Guest Authors
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