Posted by : Sherri Cornelius Thursday, June 25, 2009

I love being free from deciding what to write about, so I'm going to continue with the "A"s to your "Q"s. I've been quite restless lately, and I think it's partly because I haven't been expressing myself enough through writing. You writers know sometimes it doesn't matter what you write, as long as you write something. Sometimes blabbing is the best.

On that note, I shall now blab about what Darcsfalcon asked last week, and that is,

...if you could meet any historical figure, who would it be?

And of course that is the hardest question of all, because there are too many possibilities to narrow it down to only one. I'm going to take liberties with her phrasing and assume "meet" means that I will understand what it's like to be that person. In that case it would be some unknown person in a civilization like ancient Sumer, or Hitler, or a slave in the years leading up to the Civil War. Maybe one of the Underground Railroad people or the folks who risked everything to hide Jews during the Holocaust, whose courage, vision, and love for their fellow human beings astound me.

However, that's not what Falcon asked, she asked who I would like to meet, and that implies sitting down and talking with them. In that case I think I'd choose Eleanor Roosevelt, because she had so much wisdom to pass along about being a strong woman.

How about you?

{ 14 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. I'd like to have met someone like Ed Cantrell. Or Doc Holliday. But because I'm Christian, a lot of folks think I'd like to have met Jesus. But no ... for a couple of reasons. I think I'd rather meet someone like I mentioned above.

    Typhoid Mary not so much.

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  2. Neal Callen ClarkeJune 25, 2009 at 5:21 AM

    Well I really hate to say this, in light of the above post, but a lot of people assume because I'm a Christian I'd like to have met Jesus— and they'd be right.

    In fact, to be perfectly honest, I kind of have 'First Century Fever', thinking just about the whole deal, what it would be like to go back there if we could, down to the point of things like 'how long would I survive?' and 'Could I eat the food' and 'Would those hot-headed Judeans and Galileans kill me before I ever got a chance to meet him?' for which the answer is 'probably'. You'd have to expect certain things, grit in the bread, little critters setting up camp in your hair, a very relaxed and tolerant view of freshness and rottenness in food, no air conditioning, etc...

    But the thing I think about the most is 'how much did he know, and how did he deal with what he knew?' Growing up in the Church and hearing about him, it was like he was a kind of saintly superman that sort of floated over the ground pronouncing future bible verses while some choir oohed just out of sight. But of course, it wasn't anything like that. If you read carefully you'll see that he did not get along with his family, he got frustrated, even bitter at times, he enjoyed and used humor, he got to the point where he had to find ways to get away from people because they were after him all the time. I mean, what was it like to know how you would die? And know that you had to? I guess I can't help thinking about that.

    Having said that, I just got done with an excellent bio of FDR and Eleanor was indeed a fascinating woman. It's interesting how as a married couple their relationship was pretty shaky, but as President and First Lady they were a spectacular success. I remember reading that Eleanor was the first woman to address the United Nations, which I thought was really cool. Then I found out that FDR founded the UN, so really, it makes sense. But for me the historical woman I'd most like to meet would probably be Elizabeth Tudor. She was awesome.

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  3. You know what, Neal? I'm not surprised at all by your answer. But it may surprise you to know that I'd like to meet Jesus, too. He is a fascinating historical figure, no doubt about it. I'd also like to meet Mary Magdalene, just so I could come back and tell everybody what she was REALLY like, what her role really was. So many misconceptions and assumptions surround her, it's impossible to know the truth.

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  4. I'm not familiar with Ed Cantrell. Or maybe I am. Was he a survivalist or something?

    Will you explain why you don't want to meet Jesus?

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  5. Neal Callen ClarkeJune 25, 2009 at 7:39 AM

    Yeah, she's kind of been 'hyped' lately. But there's no doubt she had an amazing story. The fact that a former prostitute would be mentioned so prominently and so frequently in the Gospels demonstrates how broad Jesus' 'net' was, and how serious he was about the 'poor in spirit.'

    I've actually been to Magdala in Galilee where she was from. It's a beautiful place. A lot of fruit farms there, which as I understand is how it was then. Didn't see any towers (Heb: 'migdal') though.

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  6. You know, I never would have guessed that you'd want to meet Eleanor Roosevelt!

    If you want to read about a courageous woman during the Holocaust, you can read "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom.

    It's a tough question, isn't it? I was asked a similar question in 6th grade, and still haven't decided on a single answer, lol.

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  7. Hi Neal - I can't help but respond to your comment so I hope you'll forgive the intrusion. :)

    I don't think there's any actual Biblical reference to Mary Magdalene being a prostitute, I think that was something one of the Pope's assumed and has now become a "tradition" without having any basis in fact. If you have any Scriptural references about that, I'd love to see them. :)

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  8. Ed Cantrell was a sheriff, given the title "Public Safety Director", in Rock Springs, WY during the late 70s. He shot and killed an undercover officer during a tumultuous time in Rock Springs history, full of corruption and political underhandedness.

    Mr. Cantrell was acquitted by the testimony of Bill Jordan, one of the fastest draws in American history. Mr. Jordan was clocked at being able to acquire, decide, draw, aim and fire a side arm in .27 seconds, which is about a quarter second faster than a normal person can just decide on a target.

    Mr. Jordan was asked if he knew Mr. Cantrell by the defense attorney. He said he did indeed know Mr. Cantrell. Mr. Jordan was asked how fast Mr. Cantrell was on the draw. Mr. Jordan's response?

    "Well, sir ... he was a mite bit faster than me."

    The jury acquitted in less than two hours.

    Ed Cantrell was among the last of the fast-gun style lawmen in the West. I find him very interesting for some reason, and I've wanted to meet him. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2004.

    But mostly I was just kiddin'. In all honesty, I have no idea who I'd like to meet. I seriously don't.

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  9. Hi.

    You know, you might be right! I'm going to look into it. I do remember something like 'from whom seven demons had been cast out', but of course that's a different issue. There is mention of prostitutes and tax collectors (the two seem to be associated somehow) in connection with both John and Jesus, so I think the idea of Jesus being sympathetic generally to the plight of such women is well supported. I guess it's like the three kings of the Nativity, and the 'hill of Calvary', things that crept into tradition without any basis in the text...

    Thanks again for pointing that out!:)

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  10. Or Eve eating the "apple"! LOL Do you have a website?

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  11. Right, the apple. That's another one.
    You mean like a blog site? I was just asking Sherri about a good place to start one. I'm on facebook under 'Neal Clarke', and on myspace under 'Callen Clarke' (my middle name, which I perform under.) I do enjoy discussing all things Biblical/Middle-Eastern/Historical, etc. etc.
    But the reason I'm wanting to start a blog is to promote Symphonic Music. Here's a link to something I'm involved in...

    http://web.me.com/horseshoeroad/Life_Symphony/Life_Symphony.html

    Cheers!

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  12. Well, I don't think you have to be Christian to want to meet Jesus. I mean, you can want to meet Hitler and not be a Nazi. Or want to meet Einstein and not be a scientist.

    Ever notice how few people can even mention Jesus without adding that they are or are not Christian. Don't know if that is good or bad, but it's an observation.

    Who would I meet? Hmmm. Maybe Charles Dickens. Einstein. L Frank Baum. Sylvia Plath--though she'd probably be a huge headache. Lincoln. And if I were picking from the Bible, I'd pick Eve.

    What if you played with the question and asked, "If you could meet any historical person and bring them to live in the year 2009, who would it be?"

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  13. I'd like to bring back an inventor or researcher so they can see how their work has impacted society.

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  14. I would want to meet Robert Johnson. See what he was really like. The man is more myth now than anything else.

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