H. Neal Glanville: Singing a hero’s song

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H. Neal Glanville

We all have heroes, but mine are far different than most, given they’ve spent their lives in the gray area.

Now, the gray area isn’t in your version of the good or the bad society has to offer — it’s the place you pick where free will and the need to live that way are your responsibility, and you accept that fact.

One such person who has lived that way for the past 40 odd years is my baby brother, Gerald Kris Glanville, the toughest kid in all of Butler, Utah, history and holder of the number two spot on my list of heroes.

As kids, he would lead the way into any battle, return the bloodiest, and yet never held a hard grudge for a foe.

He and my brother, Scott the jackrabbit, once ran flat out over five miles to save the life of our friend, Frankie Platt, who had fallen into a gravel pit and broke bones we didn’t know the human body had.

I’d like to say we spent the summer with Frankie while he healed, but it was mostly Kris.

He read the same comic books over and over, helped Frankie scratch the unreachable spots inside his body cast with a bent hanger, and made pre-teen passes at Frank’s sister, Debbie.

One summer while practicing our golf swings, Scott caught Kris with a seven iron across the eye, which later became the scar any member of the French Foreign Legion would’ve eaten sand for.

To this day, if a lady asks him about it, he’ll scuff his feet a bit, drop his head a little to the left and build a story on the spot.

Is he fibbing? Sure, but as Kris has said many times, “How can you tell anybody the truth about this scar? It deserves a better story than my brother has a girlie backswing.”

Thinking he should follow in my footsteps, Kris joined the Army and served twice in Vietnam.

On one combat mission, Kris had too choose between a life sentence in Leavenworth for disobeying a direct order, or the lives of the men under his command. They all came home.

As pretend adults and bearers of the crud of adulthood, Kris and I have spread Glanville mayhem over six, and if you count California, seven states, enjoying each minute without a hint of regret, always waiting for the next adventure, always hoping the getaway works and the adventure is ours and ours alone.

My beloved hero’s body may be gone today, but his legend will live for all the tomorrows to come.

Hey, you be careful out there and Kris, stay to the light.

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