S-Heroes Departed

Since my grandmother’s terrier mix flipped out over my Shaun Cassidy posters longer ago than I care to admit, I’ve kinda’ been over being star-struck.  It also helps that growing up, Christopher Reeves was Nana’s neighbor, Jackie O and Elizabeth Taylor frequented horse shows and the like in our area, and now, our client list includes a best-selling author, a few movie stars and countless professional athletes…

05635d63e63b55a0f8bb48812874597aAll of this to say, I don’t have a famous person crush, but it did give me pause when I learned that Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau died yesterday and Margaret Thatcher, Baroness, died today.   I admire both women greatly, and couldn’t let their passings happen without sharing a bit about them with you.

I’d say the world is a little darker today, but Mrs. Rousseau made sure that’ll never be the case.  My stepmother’s mother specifically requested that we wear bright colors at her funeral, and I’m guessing Lilly P frocks from all eras will be the choice of the day for her mourners as well.   You see, little Lilly P may have been to the manor born, but she left college to volunteer in West Virginia and the Bronx before she married and rather accidentally launched the brand I love so well.  I think I would have enjoyed having a mimosa with Mrs. Rousseau and listening to her share whatever of her vast experiences she chose.

Likewise, Ms. Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was no wallflower.  She was NOT landed gentry, and very literally worked her way to the top after an education that was built on scholarships to some of the finest halls of higher learning.  I can’t even guess how many women count Ms. Thatcher as an inspiration, and I am sure we could have had great conversations over tea and/or while walking our favorite paths.

Please keep in mind both of these grand ladies achieved incredible success during a time many of their peers were still fighting for women’s rights.  While I certainly admire the people in the trenches who made it possible for me to attend an all-women’s college and then become a female firefighter, I also admire the women like young Lilly and Margaret who just did what seemed right for them and along the way, made history and broke barriers so other women could follow.

My favorite Margaret Thatcher quote is:

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/margaretth109592.html#wUxUTE1ZOU6bxHuC.99

Who are your s-heroes?

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9 comments on “S-Heroes Departed

  1. kathy b says:

    Aww, a great post Channon. Heartfelt.
    My heroes: hmmmm
    My vet is my hero , our friend Larry a Vietnam vet is my hero too

  2. gMarie says:

    Lovely and touching post. I love learning about these woman and whence they came. I’m sorry to hear of their passing. I don’t have any s-heros, sadly. g

  3. Nancy says:

    I think Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Thatcher were kindred spirits.

  4. Katherine says:

    Thanks for the great post Channon!! Margaret Thatcher is one of my heroes and her dear friend Ronald Reagan is certainly another! My heart goes out to the Thatcher family today.

    I would have to say, however, that my life was shaped by another great lady, my mother, and a father who told me every day that there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish if I worked hard enough!

  5. Marjie says:

    When I saw on the computer that Margaret Thatcher had died today, and told my dearly beloved, he said, “That’s too bad. She was one cool lady.” Rather sums it up, doesn’t it?

    I also thought of you when I saw the article in my paper about Lilly P’s passing. They said she had her seamstress make her colorful dresses to hide orange juice stains. Boy, that sounds like my kind of solution.

    The Irish blessing for both of them seems appropriate: “May you be in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knows you’re dead!”

  6. Sue says:

    You asked for it, Susan Anthony, Elizabeth Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Margaret Sanger, Rosa Parks, Rachel Carson. I’ll stop here, but I could go on for hours.

  7. AlisonH says:

    Rachel Carson. The woman who became the first woman doctor in America and then returned to the frontier where her new skills were needed (and whose name will come to me…) Dottie Bush, mother to GHW Bush and best friend to my grandmother and who resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution because they refused my grandmother because of her Mormon heritage despite her Mayflower credentials.

    Eleanor C back home, who taught me in my teens that one could lose so much of one’s hearing and still face the world with a cheerful heart. She taught me the life lesson I needed most at a very difficult time in my life.

  8. Blond Duck says:

    Madeline L’Engle and Mrs. McGill.

  9. Ruth says:

    There are those I certainly do admire for their convictions and accomplishments, but I’d have a hard time claiming any actual “heroes”. I also know that one person’s hero is often another’s villain…ah perspective!

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