Most Important Person Who Never Lived

In 2013, Time Books published “The 100 Most Influencial  People Who Never Lived.”  Guess what: Donald Trump, George Clooney, and Billie Jean King are not among them.  Of course not.  The point is: the most important people in an event or story may not ever have drawn a breath.  Here are some examples.  Who is real and who is not?

A Middle East “Strongman” makes horrible news = Darth Vader.

Rosie the Riveter = A woman CAN do a man’s job.

Achilles = a heroic warrior.

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy = Donald Trump and Melania

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde = someone REALLY bi-polar

A (Russian) secret agent eliminates a threat = Bond; James Bond

An abused woman seeks revenge = Lisbeth Salander

A woman goes to the big city, and makes it there = Mary Richards

An unemployed farmer fights to find work, somewhere = Tom Joad

And my favorite: Jim Rockford, or ANY private eye working on cases alone = Sherlock Holmes.  Guinness World records lists him as “the most portrayed movie character in history.”  “This character and his stories have had a profound and lasting effect on mystery writing.  Stories about him and his cases have  been radio plays, televisions shows, films, etc. for over 100 years.”

Actors I’ve seen perform Holmes: Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Nicole Williamson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller (see below; Holmes in modern NYC), Robert Downey, Jr.



Perhaps the question should be: Is Sherlock Holmes The Most Important Person Who Never Lived?

About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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1 Response to Most Important Person Who Never Lived

  1. Marc Kuhn says:

    I only take issue with Mr. Darcy…he was just a bit anti-social, but he did good deeds and cared for others…and he paid his debts.

    Liked by 1 person

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