||Need Driving Directions to the Isotope? Click here!
The Isotope Communique
Daily news and updates by Proprietor James Sime & the Isotope Staff
Subscribe to the site feed.
James Sime's Mobile Twitter Feed - click here for more
Friday, November 30, 2007
(sigh) Evel Knievel is Dead
And I Will Definitely Miss Him
Yes, I realize he was just some star-spangled poor-man's Elvis who sat on top of a motorcycle and jumped it over busses to many of you.
But not to me.
Evel Knievel was, and will forever be, an incredibly influential person in my life. As a boy I looked up to the real-life superhero and as an adult I've found inspiration in his passionate, hardboiled, and maybe even slightly insane way of life. He was a true American hero, an industry creator, a rebel, a mad visionary, and one hell of a daredevil stunt jumper. Sure, he never made it across the Snake River Canyon but I couldn't respect him more.
He wasn't afraid to take a fall, bust himself up bloody, and get back up to do it all over again. He said what was on his mind despite the consequences that paralyze and silence others. He ignored the thousand little "competitors" nipping around his heels because he was too busy breaking his own world records to care. He always tried to make the world around him just a little bit better, despite his all-too human flaws. He was a man who wore his heart on his sleeve and proved time and time again that with hard work, dedication, and a perseverance you can make doing the impossible a way of life.
And both he, and the toyline that he emblazoned his name upon, were damn near indestructible.
Today's news of Evel's death came as quite a shock to me. Yesterday I'd picked up a touch of that bug that's going around and spent the night with a mild case of the shivers and the fever dreams. One of these dreams had Knievel in it, no doubt triggered by that awesome recent picture of him and Kanye West, so I decided to lead off my day with a Twitter post of my favorite Knievel quote... only to find out a few hours later that he had died. It's made for a pretty surreal day.
It was less than a month ago that I stood at the site of Evel's greatest crash, just over 19 months since I saved Evel for last in my 8 Crazy Bastards Who Inspire Me list, not that much longer since I made the public domain biography movie of his life available for all to watch, and a few years since I started preaching the gospel of Steve Mandich's incredible Knievel book ...
... and it was many, many years ago that my parents took me to see Evel Knievel's house in Butte, Montana. And I was too young to understand why his house didn't have a stunt ramp on it.
I'll miss you Evel. Have fun raising Hell up there in Heaven.
Labels: Evel Knievel, thanks