Wednesday, April 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Despite my heroism, I remain humble

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From page A2 | February 16, 2014 | 22 Comments

I’m no hero. I’m just a simple man, flesh and blood.

Oh, sure, some people might call me a “hero” after my recent actions. They might use such words as “courageous,” “lionhearted” and “indomitable” to describe me, but I’m too unpretentious to accept that. (And it was very hard for me to include that information in the second paragraph of a column. I’m humble, after all.)

Really, I’m just a normal man, doing his normal job. That I cheated death recently might make me lucky or awe-inspiring or, arguably, heroic. But I don’t consider myself heroic. Others might think I am (Who am I kidding? Others obviously believe I am), but I remain a humble man who is grateful for another shot at life.

What did I do that was so courageous?

Well, I insist it was just me doing my job and reacting in a way that any selfless man would react. But others . . . well, they want to elevate me.

Understandable, but not necessary.

I was sitting at my desk in the Daily Republic newsroom one recent morning, watching Internet videos of kittens playing the piano, when suddenly there was a loud noise and a flurry of action above me.

A lesser man (not my words, that’s simply what all my co-workers said after recognizing what they called “heroism” and “a modern-day profile in courage”) might have ducked and covered. He might have run screaming from the building. He might have accidentally turned up the computer’s volume and revealed that he was watching kitty-piano videos.

But I didn’t do any of those things. I just reacted as I was trained.

I flinched. And looked up.

THE LIGHT FIXTURE ABOVE MY DESK HAD COME UNATTACHED ON ONE SIDE AND WAS SWINGING WILDLY ABOVE MY HEAD!

I know! Scary, right?

For several moments, the light fixture – which looks suspiciously like a guillotine when it’s perpendicular to the ceiling – swung back and forth, threatening me.

Most people would have screamed. Many would have cried. Several would have fainted.

Not me.

I stared at it, quickly calculated that it was unlikely to come unattached and decided – contrary to what most (non-heroic?) people would do – to stay at my desk and finish watching the kitty video.

You never know when the countless hours spent watching police and military TV shows will come in handy. I’m so grateful for a youth spent studying Jim Rockford and Tony Baretta.

After the outpouring of affection by my co-workers, I went back to my job. The terror hasn’t ended. The hanging light fixture is still there, hovering over me as I write this.

But when I look up, I don’t think about death. I don’t think about how my actions may have saved others. I don’t think about how my co-workers probably secretly are in awe of my courage.

I’m just grateful to be alive.

Again, I’m no hero. Just a humble man who acted heroically.

Thank you, Jim Rockford. You’re welcome, Solano County.

If I helped one person, I’m pleased. That’s the kind of man I am.

Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or bstanhope@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope is the Daily Republic's news editor. He began his career at the DR in the last millennium. He spent 17 years as a sports editor and three years as the associate editor before spending three years away from the newspaper (though continuing as a columnist). He returned in December 2010 as news editor. Brad lives in Suisun City with his wife, Mrs. Brad, and two sons. He enjoys cheese.
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Discussion | 22 comments

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 16, 2014 - 6:38 am

    Wow, Wow, my heart's all a flutter. And you can take that to the bank!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Jack Ingram - Make my heart flutterFebruary 16, 2014 - 11:57 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMPsVG2Gq_Q

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • "You Can Take That To The Bank"February 16, 2014 - 12:02 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-tvZvUE79Y

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • When Somebody Thinks Your Wonderful Mr. Brad - by Cats WallerFebruary 16, 2014 - 7:17 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuJKNwWpspo

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Charlie Kunz Casani Club Orchestra "Learn to croon & MoonstruckFebruary 16, 2014 - 7:29 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBWPs-sq1B8

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Oh...Mr. Brad ! You never flail to please.....February 16, 2014 - 7:46 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKmm7oGyPHw

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Wild Cat Blues - Sidney Bechet with Clarence Williams' Blue FiveFebruary 16, 2014 - 8:06 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEWQLSAtOKM

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Million Dollar Quartet - I Shall Not Be Moved (Rockabilly Version)February 16, 2014 - 8:15 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXrAe5Odzds

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Over My Head - Fleetwood Mac with LyricsFebruary 16, 2014 - 8:33 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa7SPrMV2NE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • RipcordFebruary 16, 2014 - 8:41 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19K03dlUlWM

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Brave..Brave Mr. Brad, he is No Fraidy Cat !February 16, 2014 - 9:45 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on0bAfbLALQ

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Zez Confrey piano solo: Kitten On The Keys (1921) OriginalFebruary 16, 2014 - 9:50 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBxRRUj1bcA

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Tony WadeFebruary 16, 2014 - 7:54 am

    The marks of a hysterical column--laughing out loud the first time you read it and having to kept re-reading parts when you are trying to read it aloud to someone else and are laughing too hard.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The Shriek of Araby will light our way to Love?February 16, 2014 - 11:28 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aGoD8ScM2g

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Smitten - Simon's Cat (A Valentine's Special)February 16, 2014 - 11:40 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE_gN8fA2xE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • NFSD.....Blondie-Hanging on the telephoneFebruary 16, 2014 - 8:24 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI05Z0TNXe8

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The Nerves - Hanging On The Telephone, Original version 45,February 16, 2014 - 8:25 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emy5mA8Ixtc

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Pastor AhhmeFebruary 16, 2014 - 8:51 am

    Thank Goodness you are unharmed ! .....Pizza Party to celebrate?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Reuben me the wrong way....February 16, 2014 - 9:19 pm

    Not Pizza you fool, Pastor Ahhme, you Sloppy Joe...I have a beef with you, you corny person...... Did not you mean... "Out for a Sandwich to Celebrate" ?....Enough with the wry humor if you can not cut the mustard....She has gone sour-kick-her-out?....Moral of the story....I am trying too hard and I still miss Plunkett...Bye

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Oh...Mr. Brad...U R Sew Hot! Smoking Time Jazz Club - "Percolatin' Blues"February 16, 2014 - 11:49 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfuHwPtVQOc

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Explaination ?February 16, 2014 - 11:51 am

    He keeps us all in "stitches" ? OK I am done now...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • General Fadi BasemFebruary 16, 2014 - 8:57 pm

    Events like you describe can be traumatic. But please take the time to take a couple of deep breaths and put the event out of your mind. And please do not , I REPEAT IN ALL CAPS DO NOT, THINK THAT CEILING CAT IS ABOUT TO BURST THRU THE CEILING. There! That's all I can do...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

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