Just a Day on the Farm

September 11, 2008
By
When I think of a hero, I think of someone who is distinguished by exceptional courage and strength. By this definition I think that Odysseus was a great hero. Odysseus conquered many monsters and got himself out of some tricky situations. When I was trying to think of a hero that I know, my uncle Mick popped into mind. I believe Mick is a hero because he possesses the same courage and strength that Odysseus had. Mick might not have conquered any monsters, but he did do one of the most courageous acts I have ever heard of.

My uncle Mick is my mother’s brother. Mick was the ninth child out of eleven. They grew up on a farm southwest of Fort Wayne outside of a town called Markle, IN. They lived on a dairy farm, but they also have a welding shop in the middle of their property. Mick is married to Mindy, and they have two kids; Bri is 11 and Briar is 13. Mick was always the kid who would courageously smash the spider if it need smashed; that is what I picture modern day Odysseus like. Mick was also a very adventurous kid who did not think before he did things. As a result he got injured quite often. Odysseus also did some things without thinking resulting in lost men. This characteristic of not thinking can lead to trouble, like Odysseus, or In Mick’s case, it can make you courageous.

On August 6, 2000 Mick Bolinger became on of the most courageous people I have ever met. He was told by his wife, Mindy, to watch the kids. The kids were playing under a tree near the welding shop. Mick decided that he wanted to get some work done, so he started cutting some scrap metal. Some of the neighbors would bring some scrap metal over so Mick could cut it and sell it. He moved the metal outside, so he could see the kids. Then, he started cutting the metal in to smaller pieces. He then brought over a 55 gallon barrel to cut. He put it on it side, turned the torch on, started cutting when the tank exploded. The end of the barrel blew of and fire shot out of the end in the kid’s direction. Bri caught on fire. Micks immediately ran over, stepped into a fire ball, and bear hugged Bri trying to put her out. When he put her out, he ran to the milk house where his wife was milking. He showed Mindy what had happened and they called 911. I can not even imagine what was going on in their heads right then and there. The 911 operators told them to put Bri in the bath tub, so they did. She was sent a lifeline helicopter to come pick her up and take her to St. Joseph hospitable in Ft. Wayne. She had to have extensive surgeries including over 13 skin graphs because she had 55 percent of her body burned, but she is doing great. Mick had 3rd degree burns on his right arms and face because he was wearing short sleeves and shorts. He had to have skin graphs for the back of his right lag and for his arm. He struggled walking for about 6 months, but today, his injuries do not inhibit anything. Mick is a true Hero.

Mick does not think he is a hero. He said, “I just did what needed to be done.” But he does not realize that he really did save his daughters life. He also said, “You would have done it too.” I was thinking about that and it would be really scary to do what he did. That makes it even more impressive. When asked who his hero was, he responded, “Bri is my hero because she went through way more than me.” Mick jumping into that fireball, he showed Odysseus like courage. He also showed immense strength and toughness carrying Bri to the milk house even though he burned his arms severely. He defiantly shows some similarities to Odysseus.

When I think about this, I can not believe how courageous he was. When asked if he thought he was a hero, he said, “I was just being myself. If that’s what you call a hero, then I guess I am.” That’s what I love about Mick. He did one of the most courageous acts that I have ever seen, and he said that he just did what needed to be done. The community has recognized him by writing an article in the paper, and they banded together and helped pay for the medical bills. It is amazing to think about what he did. What if the barrel would have blown up in his direction? There are so many questions like that that could have changed the whole event.





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