Leading from the Left

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

American Hero

One of my heroes died yesterday, Marty Ravellette. The N&O provides detail in an article published today.

If you live in Chapel Hill or Carrboro, you probably saw Marty around town. He could often be spotted mowing grass, driving through Carrboro, or eating at Sutton's. None of this would have been remarkable, except Marty was born without arms. Yep, he drove without arms, ate dinner without using his arms, and made a living mowing grass without arms.

I was always impressed by his skill and tenacity and willingness to work hard for everything he got. But what impressed me most about Marty was his spirit.

He was abadonded by his parents shortly after birth, he was raised in an orphanage, he had a tough life growing up teased and ridiculed by other kids, and he had a handicap that would have discouraged most of us from even trying. Yet Marty was always chipper, always nice, always smiling and always had a kind word for others.

He was, perhaps, the most impressive individual I've ever met. The world was a richer place because he walked amongst us.