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Local lifestyle columnists

Despite my heroism, I remain humble

By From page A2 | February 16, 2014

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.


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 [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope

Brad Stanhope is a former Daily Republic editor. He began his career at the DR in the last millennium. He spent 24 years as a sports editor, associate editor and news editor before leaving the Daily Republic in 2014. Brad lives in Suisun City with his wife, Mrs. Brad, and two sons. He enjoys cheese.

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!

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  • Jack Ingram - Make my heart flutterFebruary 16, 2014 - 11:57 am


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  • "You Can Take That To The Bank"February 16, 2014 - 12:02 pm


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


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


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


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


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


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  • Over My Head - Fleetwood Mac with LyricsFebruary 16, 2014 - 8:33 am


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  • RipcordFebruary 16, 2014 - 8:41 am


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


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


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  • 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.

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


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


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  • NFSD.....Blondie-Hanging on the telephoneFebruary 16, 2014 - 8:24 am


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  • The Nerves - Hanging On The Telephone, Original version 45,February 16, 2014 - 8:25 am


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  • Pastor AhhmeFebruary 16, 2014 - 8:51 am

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

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  • 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

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


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  • Explaination ?February 16, 2014 - 11:51 am

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

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  • 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...

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