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How adventurous books and tv fed my passion

GrasshopperFarm life for a teen can have many hours of down time. This was especially true in the 1970s. Our television had only three stations, the radio stations weren’t even in FM stereo, and the phone was for serious or family matters only.

With limited options, my outlet for fun became books — tons of book — all of them adventurous:  The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Horatio Hornblower, and everything written by Jules Vern, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein that I could find. I even found my mother’s ancient copy of Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I ravenously devoured that author’s works as well.

My appetite for adventure led me to read about various characters who knew one martial art or another.  The Hardy Boys, for example, knew judo.  As a girl with three older brothers who liked to pick on me and tease me, the idea of kicking their butts some day was very appealing.

Then came the television series Kung Fu,  the story of kung fu master Kwai Chang Cain, including flashbacks to his childhood training. Oh, man, was I ever hooked martial arts philosophy after that. It dove-tailed so well into my love of nature, farm life, and the cycles of the seasons. Here are a few quotes from the show:

Master Po: [after easily defeating the boy in combat] Ha, ha, never assume because a man has no eyes he cannot see. Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Caine
: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
Master Po
: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
Young Caine
: No.
Master Po
: Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?
Young Caine
: [looking down and seeing the insect] Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Master Po
: Young man, how is it that you do not?

Caine: Is it good to seek the past, Master Po? Does it not rob the present?
Master Po:
If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present. But if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.

Caine: If you plant rice, rice will grow. If you plant fear, fear will grow.

Your turn, what kind of childhood influences led to your current passions and dreams?

Thank you for visiting.

Lori Hoeck

Photo Credit: Tobias Wallin

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Barbara Swafford December 7, 2009, 2:38 am

    Hi Lori,

    I didn’t know you grew up on a farm. So did I. And limited channels. Yup! We had two and I was also the one who had to go outside and turn the antenna when it was time to change channels.

    I remember reading Nancy Drew, but can’t remember other books or TV shows that inspired me. For me, it was my Grandmother. I remember sitting next to her on the couch, holding her crippled arthritic hand and her saying, “Do everything you want to do when you’re young. Travel, see the world, etc…, because when you settle down, to do all those things will be much more difficult.” (She married young and had a seven children). I took her advice and am so happy I did.

    Thank you Lori for letting me share those memories. They made me smile. 🙂

  • Lori Hoeck December 7, 2009, 11:10 am

    Hi Barbara,
    I remember those antenna’s — and rabbit ears and aluminum foil. Have we been around awhile or what?!

    Your grandmother sounds awesome. One of mine could have been nicknamed “Ramrod,” so not a lot of positive lessons there.

  • Erin Lakai December 7, 2009, 5:20 pm

    Hi Lori,

    I grew up on a mini-farm, which wasn’t as big as the good ‘ole family farm in Oklahoma is. I heard great stories from my Grandmother, Aunts and Uncles about what a magical place it was. Visiting it only once in my childhood was enough to sprout many fantastic tales of what it would be like to live there.
    Though it’s not the typical aspiration of many in my generation, I’ve tried to live as close to the land as I could. My passion as an adult has been to be as self-sustaining as possible, and provide that playground of magic for my children. I’m not there yet…

    And, I wish I knew what “hours of down time” were…
    p.s. Thanks for prompting me to ‘post’, not ‘forget’ my dreams…

    ~Erin Lakai

  • Lori Hoeck December 7, 2009, 8:50 pm

    Hi Erin,
    The Bizzy M was a great place of history, discovery, and education, but you and your family get to start a legacy of your own.

    Hour’s of down time have to be scheduled these days!

  • janice December 10, 2009, 6:57 am

    I love that we’re the same age! I adored the Kung Fu series, preferred it even to the Bruce Lee films. Carradine was miscast, but I loved the philosophy.

    I grew up in a working class mining village, not on a farm, but extensive reading as well as devouring TV and films inspired me to spread my wings and leave.

  • Lori Hoeck December 10, 2009, 10:21 am

    Hi Janice,
    Totally agree with your first paragraph!

    I believe reading and imaginative media can help us all cut the ball and chain of a place or situation as we take wing. Glad you escaped!