The Inventor of the Blue Fruit Loop

September 11, 2008
By Alex Stamm, Westfield, IN

My definition of a hero is someone who can change lives through inspirational traits. My hero is, my grandfather Kenneth Stamm. He has the traits that influence my life and drive it in the right direction. He grew up on a small family farm in Michigan. He grew only enough food to feed his family. At 18, he went to Kellogg’s Community College. This was rare for his family. His father only finished high school because his father wanted to impress his own parents; however, my grandfather’s mother only finished the 6th grade. My grandpa’s confidence let him know he could go to college and get a degree. His first job choice was to be an artist, but that was a very hard job to find a good income for. He went to KCC for 2 years and achieved an Associates Degree in Drafting and Design. He got his job in Kellogg’s because his instructor from college placed an interview for him. My grandpa, with his high charisma, beat out many others in the interview for the job. He went on to help design cereal-making machines; consequently, he went on to play a main role in inventing the blue fruit loop. My grandpa is my hero because of how he used these traits to live a life of greatness and becoming the great role model he is to me today.

The most important reason why my grandpa is heroic to me is because of his high intelligence. His father could barely imagine finishing high school, yet my grandpa graduated from college. In the Odyssey, Odysseus’ intelligence ended the war and prevented many lives from being lost. Odysseus was an ancient Albert Einstein. His Trojan horse idea took a lot of crafting and design to fit all those men; therefore, Odysseus probably even used engineering just like my grandpa. He needed to know the size of the horse to fit men and how much wood he would need to make it. Odysseus also needed intelligence when he had to plan the death of all the suitors. My grandpa always says, “Give options. When you have a boss, they want to hear options about how to fix a problem.” The blue fruit loop kept giving people blue feces because there was too much dye in the original machine. My grandpa had options in how to fix this flaw in the design of the fruit loop machine. Odysseus had to think on his feet. Hundreds of options probably crossed his mind while in the Cyclopes cave and the other places he had to go to. Both of these people know how to put these options to use with their intelligence.

Hard work is also one of the most important attributes in a hero. Odysseus had to work hard to survive when they were starving. He had to work hard in crafting a boat to leave Calypso’s island. He also had to work hard fighting all the suitors. My grandpa maybe didn’t have to kill a hundred men, but he still worked hard. He was able to show up on time and work overtime. His hard-working personality is as stubborn as a statue This also led him to keep his job for 42 years until retirement. My grandma, Darlene Stamm said, “People have a hard time keeping a job for a few years let alone forty-two years.” He was one of the hardest workers in the Kellogg’s place. This led him to keep his job, and he even was given a well paid retirement.

Another quality that many people might overlook in a hero is confidence. Odysseus must have been the most confident person in the book. He had confidence that he would make it home in the worst of times. While he was disguised as the beggar, his confidence led him to believe he could kill Irus in one punch. My grandpa’s confidence led him to believe he could design and draw the new blueprint for the blue fruit loop machine. His confidence led him to his boss’ office. This is where he told his boss that he could fix the problem. My grandpa had high confidence that he knew he was right, and he was right. My grandpa also has a confident quote he told me in our interview. “Never ask a boss what to do.” You have to be confident enough in your work that you can have the right answer. I thought this is one of the truest statements about the work environment. The boss does not want you ask questions and explain everything to you. You must know that you have the intelligence to perform in your work.

My last characteristic of what should be in a hero is charisma. This could be looked on as a branch of confidence. Odysseus had it; consequently, always seemed to know what to say. He had page long speeches ready that made anyone seem to put trust in him. That is how my grandpa was guaranteed his job. Many others were up for interviews at Kellogg’s. My grandpa says that the other men had the same education as my grandfather, but they didn’t have his charisma to win over the interviewers. My grandpa could sound boastful here, but he is a charismatic man.

There are four main traits I think a hero should have. They are intelligence, hard working, confidence, and charisma. Odysseus and my grandfather both have all of these traits. Odysseus shows them in his epic adventures. My grandpa shows them in his work environment and success. My grandpa always says, “The harder you work, the more it will pay off in your success.” I think Odysseus would agree with that statement. You never go any farther in life by working less. I think everyone has a little of each of these four traits. The heroes in our lives are the ones that can show us them.

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