Hero's Journey: John Ritter, the Chip Hilton of Goshen, Indiana; a Memoir Kindle Edition
|Length: 195 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Hero's Journey explains why we still need heroes. Read it Texans!" Larry Stevenson, The Bearded Black Cowboy on the Larry Stevenson Show, June 20, 2016
"Jeff Rasley's book, Hero's Journey: John Ritter, the Chip Hilton of Goshen,Indiana; a Memoir, is more than a memoir and more than a biography. It enlightens us about how the meaning of hero has changed and the pressures put on heroes to be perfect." The Bright Side, hosted by Tekneshia Day, June 21, 2016
"Hero's Journey delves into the subconscious, memory, and idealism in a quest to understand 'hero consciousness' through the life journey of the author's childhood heroes, Chip Hilton and John Ritter." Frederic Bye, Creative Magic Unchained, fredericbye.com/jeff-rasleyhero/
About the Author
- ASIN : B01FPTS0G6
- Publisher : Midsummer Books (May 14, 2016)
- Publication date : May 14, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 2017 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 195 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #945,852 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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But of course Jeff Rasley — a Himalayan climber as well as a lawyer — is focussed, for this discussion, on the triumphs and passage through later troubles of a basketball champion in his hometown, who seemed destined for a life of NBA glory but somehow did not make it to those heights, disappearing for a number of years, until Rasley caught up with him, finding that he had been through divorce, depression and drink, gone down to putting on great amounts of weight, but then eventually got out of that abyss, and wound up running an office for ticket-scalpers.
If you apply Campbell’s scheme of the Hero, there’s certainly a good beginning, the call out to action, followed by what the Greeks might have called the fall due to hubris, into Bunyan’s “Slough of Despond,” followed by a rise from that despair, to an achieved wisdom, and, in Rasley’s reading of Campbell, the final, happy return to service unto others.
As the author winds through his story, describing in scrupulous detail the game of basketball, and his hero’s early, dazzling success, you can see where he’s heading. You wonder, of course, what his “call to action” was: his native talent? An unusual gentleness and kindness to other people — the kids coming up, his team-mates? (Perhaps one of the things Campbell is careful to delineate, and Rasley glides over, an early meeting with someone who appears to be an enemy but turns into an ally, would in this case be his coaches, in high school and in college? Or the opponents to whom his hero is courteous to after a hotly contested game?)
At any rate, there may be something akin to the tragic hubris about the early belief that he will coast into the NBA and become a professional star; that light is soon extinguished, due, it would seem, to specific weaknesses in this hero’s approach to the game — lack of a killer instinct, one might say. And then — the disappearance into those dreadful mists of failure, noted above.
At this point, it certainly meets Campbell’s early arc, from heroic beginning to tumble into despair. A difficulty with following this real-life “hero,” obviously, is Rasley’s inability to find much of the details of the passage to the third part, the upturn, and — to some people, perhaps? — that final place of wisdom and achievement, running a ticket-scalper’s office. You can decide the merits of that destiny for yourself, of course.
If you get hold of this cleanly-written book — I got it as a Kindle e-book, as I did his earlier, fascinating books on mountain climbing and eco-trekking, following along as he worked with the inhabitants of Sherpa Tensing’s home village, Basra, to bring hydro-electric power and thence, computers and the Internet to that isolated valley, with the consent of its elders — this latest book seems, in a sense, to step outside of those non-fiction but exotic stories, and also his intervening novels, to this discussion of a hero from Rasley’s childhood and his ultimate fate. Find these on the Internet, and I’m convinced you’ll become a fan of Jeff Rasley’s writing, as I am.
Who deserves to be regarded as a hero and for what reasons is the broader subject of the book by author Jeff Rasley, “Hero’s Journey: John Ritter, the Chip Hilton of Goshen, Indiana; a Memoir”. Rasley begins by comparing the hero of his childhood storybooks, Chip Hilton, to a real life figure in his hometown, John Ritter, who in the author’s youth seemed to be the personification of that fictional hero. Ritter was a dominant high school basketball player who led his small town team to prominence and went on to star at Indiana University during a tumultuous period in the early 1970’s. As a young man Rasley looked up to Ritter as someone who seemed to live a charmed life and succeeded at everything he undertook on and off the athletic field.
Somewhere along the way in the years after his celebrated accomplishments on the basketball court John Ritter’s life began a downward spiral that led to divorce, alcohol abuse and homelessness. Because Ritter ultimately decided not to reveal the details of his personal life to the author Rasley can only speculate from second hand information what led this hero of his youth to his decline. However, various information sources also suggest that Ritter’s life has improved substantially from its nadir at one point as a homeless cab driver in Indianapolis. Nevertheless, Ritter seems to be estranged from his hometown where his star once shined bright. It is unclear to what extent this estrangement is a result of the town’s reluctance to acknowledge that their former hero has feet of clay or Ritter’s own reluctance to acknowledge the same of himself. Rasley’s memoir serves as an appeal to both sides for acceptance and rapprochement. The author examines various historical interpretations of the criteria used to define a hero and makes the case that experiencing and surviving failure is a legitimate and important criteria. This interpretation reflects a maturity that sees the perpetually victorious heroes of youthful novels for the one-dimensional, fictional characters that they are and even for the danger that they can represent if they prevent us from achieving acceptance and resolve when failure is experienced, which in the real world is inevitable.