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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Two stories of Risk Variation

I received these stories today via workplace e-mail. I do not know who is the original author, but it is good and I hope you enjoy them.

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone wasn't famous foranything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everythingfrom bootlegged booze, prostitution and murder. Capone had a lawyernicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was his lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was verygood! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jailfor a long time. To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Notonly was the money big, but also, Eddie got special dividends. Forinstance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in helpand all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that itfilled and entier Chicago City block. Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little considerationto the atrocity that went on around him. Eddie did have one soft spot,however, he had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his youngson had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Pricewas no object. And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie eventried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better manthan he was. Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two thingshe couldn't give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name or a good example.One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted torectify wrongs he had done. He decided he would go to the authorities andtell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity.To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that thecost would be great.So, he testified. Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze ofgunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his sonthe greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay.Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion,and a poem clipped from a magazine. The poem read:

The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own.
Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in time.
For the clock may soon be still.

World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant CommanderButch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrierLexington in the South Pacific.One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, helooked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top offhis fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leadertold him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formationand headed back to the fleet.As he was returning to the mother ship he saw something that turned hisblood cold: a squadron of Japanese aircraft were speeding their way towardthe American fleet. The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and thefleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring themback in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of theapproaching danger.There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation ofJapanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in,attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another.Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as manyplanes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent. Undaunted, hecontinued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tailin hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible And rendering them unfit to fly. Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to thecarrier. Upon arrival, he reported in and Related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-cameramounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daringattempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemyaircraft.This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became theNavy's first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win theCongressional Medal of Honor.A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His hometown would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today,O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this greatman. So, the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give somethought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal ofHonor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.


Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son


Barrett, M said...

Bear, you need to compile all this into a book. Send me your email and I will help you.

Talking Bear said...

Mike, in time my friend. For now, lets just dance a bit more.....

Talking Bear said...

Peter, I saw your comment on the email but not here on the blog? Anyway, yes you may use what you need with the understanding of referencing it back to the site.

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