I was sitting back yesterday afternoon and watching Sparticus (an old Kirk Douglas movie) and started wondering about who everyone thought might be T-Men throughout our history. Ya know, someone that stuck to their guns and made a difference. One of the first people I thought of was Jesse Owens, not because he was an athlete, but because he didn’t care about the Nazi regime and their disdain for Jews, African-Americans and so on. He went into Berlin, looked at Hitler and then kicked everyone’s ass numerous times for the gold. What are your thoughts?
Richard Burton (the explorer, not the actor). One baaaaad MF. Had all the ladies before he got married, never cheated on his wife after. Explored all over Africa and the Middle East, back when they were killing white men for doing stuff like that. Took a spear through a cheek and lived to tell about it (and got an absolutely bitchin’ scar). Was master of sword, firearms and unarmed combat. Had a rugged physique. And translated the Kama Sutra into English for good measure. If that doesn’t make him one of the all-time T-men…
Jesse Owens was born in Lawrence County in North Alabama, there is a cool museum and a replica of the shack in which he was born. They also have an annual race in his honor. You are correct he was a great T man.
Charlie Francis & Dan Duchaine are (were) pretty brave to do the things that they do (did). The general public, in North America anyway, puts Olympic athletes all on pedestals and never seem to suspect that nothing unethical is going on behind the scenes. I’ve always liked them both because they’ve always told the truth aboutt everything, even if it means maybe getting a bad rep.
2 t-men come to mind, one is real and the other is not. john wayne-he has smart and he was tough.
indiana jones-clever,smart, and a badass.
The “Chocolate Soldiers” of WW-II (one of whom was my Dad). These young, cocky patriotic kids went to war (like that whole generation) without complaint and with a sense of purpose. But there was difference with the Black soldier. He would often be treated WORSE than captured Nazi and Italian POWS. After the war (my Dad stayed in as a carreer), and after Truman ordered the services intergrated, my Dad would have men who would rather go to the brig than take an order from him; officers above him, who did not want him under their command, would do everything they could do to attempt to make him fail; and even though he fought in three wars, these “Chocolate Soldiers” were the actual first “Vietnam Vets”; ones who would come home to a Country that at best was indifferent to them and at worst hated them. Well…he, and many like him, endured and did their duty. He retired with honors…and in one of those ironic twist…the leader of the honor guard at his funeral was a young, Black, “spit and polish” Sargeant (like he was), who was younger than his grand-kids, that he, and the rest of those “Chocolate Soldiers” paved the way for. Those guys (and my Dad) are “T-Men” in my book…
Definitely T-men in my book too!
Here’s a T-man you guys probably never heard of. Admiral Yi Sunshin who repulsed the Japanese invasion of the Korean peninsula in the 16th century. He built the world’s first iron-clad ship (sorry it was not the Merrimac nor the Monitor), and with these so-called turtle ships, he defeated a Japanese fleet led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi that far outnumbered his own. He got jailed in a political intrigue for refusing to take on the daughter of a powerful politician as a second wife. Then the second wave of invasions came. Everyone came to the defense of the homeland as even Buddhist monks took up arms, but without Yi’s strategic genius, the invaders won virtually every battle. They could not help but set him free so that he could lead the navy again. In one particular battle, his fleet of 14 turtle ships defeated a Japanese force of more than 100 ships. In the waning days of the conflict, he was fatally wounded by a stray musket shot. He was honest, brave, big and strong–truly a man’s man. The sword he wielded is preserved in a museum in Korea devoted solely to his memory. The sword is about five feet long. It’s enormous size makes one wonder how big he must have been to used such heavy sword, which he reported swung one-handed at times. By the way, his son was a bad ass too. He killed five of the invaders in a one-on-one sword fight before being killed. The Japanese were so impressed that they gave him a proper burial.
My favorite T-men in history are: Pope Innocent III, King Edward I, King St. Louis, Pope St. Pius V, St. Thomas More, Pope St. Pius X, Francisco Franco, Benito Mussolini, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Governor Wallace who stood up to federal troops before he would allow the government to force negroes on unwilling Whites.
My favorite T-women in history are: Queen Mary I of England, and St. Joan de Arc.
Not this time…I refuse to take the bait…
I forgot to add one of my most favorite historical T-men: Fr. Tomas de Torquemada, Grand Inquisitor.
Very inspring story Mufasa, espec since it was a very personal part of your families history.
I too won’t take the Grand Wizards(he knows who he is) bait this time either.
Mussolini didn’t do shit, a wanna be caesar. I think Julius Caesar as a T-man, maybe. ALso Ben Johnson.
Alexander the Great for being a brilliant
military strategist, winning wars that he had
no business waging and often being on the front
lines taking slashes from swords and being hit
by an arrow in the chest.He may not have been
the nice guy old historians thought having
murdered his best friend in a drunken rage but
when he imposed his will everyone submitted.I
was surprised when I read he was a homo or
rather a bi (apparently it was rampant in ancient Rome, Greece, Macedonia, and fostered culterally), oh well he was still a bad ass.
Martin Luther(the first one)
The Signers of the American Declaration of Independance.
Xena warrior princess… no … wait…
At age fourteen I was lucky enough to witness a sight that has
remained with me well into adulthood…It was that of Sergio Oliva
in a1977 guest posing appearance at the MR. USA in Passaic, N.J.
He had just hit his infamous “most muscular pose,” and the
place F#@KING EXPLODED!..This impression has always been filled
with wonder for me, for it was almost like getting a glimpse of GOD
while you were still alive, and he just happened to be wearing a
“Bronze suit of Awesome Muscle!”
Mike: I think Alexander was fascinating also; was really just a kid…how “true” is the story that when he felt he had no more of the world to conquer, that he sat on the battlefield and cried? (One of those historical antedotes you often hear).Mufasa
Coyote: I love that list also! It is ALWAYS great to see that many of us have so much in common, isn’t it? (By the way: Patton was BY FAR our greatest field commander, and that’s not just from the movie. Many feel that if not for some unfortunate public snafus, he would have lead the Allied Invasion of Europe).
For our friends in the UK and Oz; the term “Chocolate Soldier” was actually coined by the British and Aussies.
mussolini? don’t know much about the man but he seemed to be a little bit of a bitch. he basically kissed hitlers ass to keep from getting invaded.
mufasa-cool story. it’s strange that the whites of yesterday and i guess today,who proclaim what good people they are and how everyone else are savages, have been some of the most cruel, and inhuman butchers throughout history.
here’s a real t-man, bufford pusser. took the law into his own hands, risked his life and the lives of his family for what was right.
i forget how many times he was wounded but it was alot.
Mufasa, I heard that anecdote on Alexander as
well but I’m uncertain whether it was in the
biography I read on him recently (Alexander of
Macedon), at any rate it fits with his hyper-
emotional personality.After killing his friend
that I previously mentioned he lay and wept over his dead body for several days refusing
food and visitors, so he definately let everything hangout.I wouldn’t have wanted to be
friends with him due to his violent and intense
nature but if I was a soldier I’d wanna be in his army.