Marika Sokol wanted to know about the key. I would have been terrified if I hadn’t realized two things. One, she wouldn’t kill me until she got answers, and since I had none, what could I lose?
“Tell me young man, for a person who has security, have you noticed how easily we hurt you?” She let that question sink in for about a minute, and then started again. “We can take you whenever we want. Why not make it easier?”
According to her, one of my guys was a traitor. She had to be lying, but right then, it didn’t matter. I was a pretty good negotiator in business, so it was time to prove it.
“Doesn’t matter, either kill me, release me, or start the torture.” She expected me to stall, bluff, or bargain I wasn’t giving her the satisfaction. First, that would anger her, then confuse her.
Finally, it would do the one thing nothing else could, defeat her. After about twenty minutes she smiled. “You’re good, brave, or just stubborn. I told Rastilav it wouldn’t work, but he doesn’t listen. Know this, I may not be able to kill you before the court case, but I tidy up the Ambassador’s messes, even years after.”
They let me walk out. This was another mental trick of hers, because it was the building right beside Stefaniak’s. I laughed, I don’t like bullies. They never learn something every coffee person know. Pressure makes you better, if you Filter it.
45 men, some liked, many not, have undertaken the monumental task of leading a nation. It’s a funny thing about time, making giants of men who were second guessed while they led. Don’t worry, no political statement is coming, this is about the heritage and sacrifice of America’s Men.
It’s important to have heroes, as long as you don’t worship them. Generations of Americans have been inspired by the story of how, a colonial surveyor became General, and later President Washington. Or how a rail splitter, born in a log cabin, became Abraham Lincoln.
Everyone knows their history. Less know about a sickly boy who, not predicted to live, led a charge against tyranny on San Juan Hill. When he went to Washington, they laughed at him, but they weren’t laughing long. Like the Classic toy named after him, America fell in love with Teddy Roosevelt.
Coolidge wasn’t loud, but he was consistent. FDR guided us through World War II from a wheelchair. The man who led the fight to defeat Hitler, and his “master race”, didn’t carry a spangled shield, but he sat very tall from a place of pain.
Not all were successful, not all would be asked back, but they did their duty. Can you imagine, being handed, not only the fate of a nation, but directing it for future generations. We fantasize about what we would do, but how terrifying would it be to actually sit at the resolute desk?
45 men, whose lives and character shaped the story of America. They weren’t perfect, not even the best among them, neither are we. Yet when God asked for a man, that He could use to bless this country, He chose from a select group, America’s Men.
We hope you enjoy this Sunday afternoon art post “Winter In St Louis”.