As I’ve been reposting and rereading ‘A Time for Heroes’, I am becoming more and more aware that this story is an homage to my dad.
Dad was an amputee from the time he was 14, but he was never handicapped. During the writing of this story, I feel that I was able to explore the theme of amputation as well as some of the realities that go with living with this loss. I think that this has given me a deeper understanding of my dad.
I was not around when my dad went through his grieving and acceptance for the loss of his leg. The man I knew was just a man with a wooden leg. He never thought of himself as handicapped so neither did we. I still smile at the story my mom tells of my brother proudly proclaiming that when he grew up, he was going to be a daddy and have a wooden leg, too!
I also see many of the same values in Steve Rogers as I know my dad held. The line in the first Avengers movie when Steve says, “There’s only one God, ma’am, and I don’t think he dresses like that.” has always reminded me of my dad. My dad’s personal beliefs were never shaken, that I saw. He attended church weekly and could discuss church doctrine intelligently and logically. He believed that it was his duty to help those less fortunate and to accept others the way they were. Maybe it was something about the times they were from, but those values were very strongly ingrained.
Dad was not a military man, but he was from a military family. From his older brother, who was shot down over France during WWII to his younger brother who served in the Canadian Navy after the war, all but one of his brothers and sisters served in military, and the one sister who didn’t, married a soldier. Dad was the one exception. I think because of his family, he had a strong sense of patriotism and civic duty, which he passed on to us.
I have heard Chris Evans say that Steve is a difficult character to bring to life because his goodness almost makes him too flat to be interesting on the big screen. Perhaps it was because of his strong portrayal of this character or maybe because of the similarities I saw between him and my dad, I didn’t feel that way when I started to write him in this story. It was those very struggles with his base moral code that did make him interesting and a joy to write.
I hope that those who are reading are enjoying the story and the characters as much as I enjoyed writing them. I also hope that it gives some insight into the realities of those living with amputation.