Friday, April 07, 2006

The Nastiest Dude Ever!!
In the midst of my second year at Louisiana College in Pineville, LA, I met a friend, Danny Hoychick, who would quickly become like a brother to me. Even that doesn't quite do our relationship justice. We weren't really "like" brothers, we sensed that somewhere, somehow, we might actually have the same blood flowing through our veins.

I know it sounds crazy, but we were so alike, so closely connected, that it didn't seem like that far of a leap. And then we met Doc Savage.

Doc Savage is a pulp fiction (not the movie, but the genre of literature) character who came on the scene in a series of graphic novels that began in 1933. It was Lester Dent who crafted the character, known as "The Man of Bronze", into the superman that he became. Dent, who wrote most of the adventures, described his hero - Clark "Doc" Savage Jr. - as a cross between “Sherlock Holmes with his deducting ability, Tarzan of the Apes with his towering physique and muscular ability, Craig Kennedy with his scientific knowledge, and Abraham Lincoln with his Christliness.” But the thing that drew Danny and me to Doc Savage was a puzzle that Danny's uncle had hidden in his attic.

For some reason that puzzle - a picture of raw toughness - appealed to our sense of adventure, masculinity, and sheer stupidity. We just thought Doc Savage, with his torn shirt, raging pectorals, and clinched fists, was the nastiest dude we had ever seen. And there was something about the look in his eyes that called to something deep within our souls. It was as if we were Luke Skywalker in the final scene of The Empire Strikes back, and Doc was Darth Vader. If we listened closely, we could almost hear Doc whisper "Boys, I am your Father."

I don't know if it was our need for a mentor or what, but Doc Savage became the inspiration for everything we did. We tore our shirts, framed the puzzle and hung it on our wall, and even reminisced about how Doc had led us in and out of certain situations in our lives, even though we didn't even know he existed. It was like life suddenly made better sense now that we had uncovered this hidden heritage. We were part of a greater story, the story of Doc Savage, and there was a strange pride and connection between us as a result.

Danny and I have been out of touch now for somewhere around 10 years. About two weeks ago, Danny emailed me. We spoke on the phone that night, and it was clear that we had both changed quite a bit. Those days of drinking until we couldn't remember our names are distant memories, but our connection remains as close as ever. This time around, though, our connection isn't centered around Doc Savage (although we still know that Doc is our daddy). Our main topic of conversation these days is Jesus Christ.

So, after all these years, Danny and I still find ourselves reminiscing about being led along on an adventure greater than ourselves. We are still drawn to a bigger story with a vast heritage. We're as close as ever to the one who says in a still, small voice, "I am your Father." We have a new hero, and our friendship has never been better!


docsavage_ said...

After I finally stopped laughing, I thought of a couple of things concerning Doc and friendship.

How many people, especially young men, look for connections with other people, by imagining themselves part of a greater Something (even if it's Something as juvenile and unrecognized as Doc Savage)? And how many of those who imagine such a Something for themselves fail to realize that they are already part of a greater Something? That's why I have gotten so much out of reading John Eldridge and Richard Rohr (in particular, Waking the Dead and Adam's Return). We live in an Epic adventure with rites of passage and baptisms and Eternal Friendships. A Myth with past and future heros and villans to push us in and out of scenes and chapters. A Living Drama of life, death and Life. But how many see it? I know I missed it, and that is probably the biggest reason that our friendship took inactive status.

But since we are spawn of Doc, then maybe the connection was not even susceptible of inactive status. And then again, maybe it's nothing other than his sheer nastiness (I mean, just look at his shirt, for crying out loud, it looks like his ole' lady had just ironed it before it was shredded by some wild beast or barmaid, and he isn't about to change it. . .she probably asked him, before the picture, if he was going to take his picture like that and he just smirked and bowed up for the camera. . . nasty). And that's why no one else understands it, and that's why I'm cool with no one else understanding it.

Spyder Monkey said...

Very inspiring words. I am wondering though, do you have to call him "Miss Savage" if you yourself are indeed..... nasty?
Hoychick, how is the mohawk and eight ball looking?
Hope to see you guys sometime soon. Perhaps we should find a midpoint in the Lafayette, Dallas, Monroe triangle, such as a waffle house, to catch up.

docsavage_ said...


You still have a mullet?

Spyder the Monkey said...

No more mullets unfortunately. I just got a haircut. Cut the ole ponytail off and you'll never believe, the Barton looks like a classy regular guy. Still wearing the ole chucks though.
Got any brown bungaloe pictures Hoychick?

john wayne said...

Wow, I miss you guys! I wish I would have spent more time with you guys @ L.C. and less time at the girl's dorm... No, I dont, but I would love to talk to all of you men again one day. I am glad to hear everyone is still following the voice of the true father. Miss ya'll!