Skip to content

Annie Oakley vs Jimi Hendrix

A very intersting contrast came about in two separate stories I heard today .. one concerning Annie Oakley and the other Jimi Hendrix.

An elementary school age daughter of a friend of mine was given a school assignment that required her to do a biography of a famous person.

Annie Oakley came to mind in front of every one else… whereas Mom was thinking that surely she would choose some popular pop culture personality.  Anyhow.. her daughter went proudly to the teacher to state her choice.

The teacher’s reaction?

“WHO is Annie Oakley?”

She seriously did not know .. had never heard of her .. so the daughter explained to her that she was the greatest sharpshooter of her time .. even better than the guys.

Well.. the teacher told her in words to the effect of “.. noooooo .. she is not such a great one to  do a report on.  Please choose someone else.”

Annie Oakley was a hero in the simple fact that she overcame impossible odds in her life to become the top person in her sport and a very valuable and caring person.  Of course .. her sport was shooting .. so that cannot count today .. obviously.

Wonder if she should be stricken from the history book?

The second story I heard was from an author who wrote a child’s book on Jimi Hendrix .. the hard rocker who died from a drug overdose … an “accidental” drug overdose.

In the book Jimi Sounds Like A Rainbow …  an impression seems to be left that his life was all sunny and cheery and lovely .. with little Jimi listening to every noise in nature he could hear to try to repeat in music.  Now that is all fine and dandy … and it’s good to offer a positive spin to kids .. right?

The truth .. however is that he had a rough childhood … but he persevered to make something of himself by following that which he loved to do… playing the guitar… and kids are tough enough and smart enough and will be helped more with knowing the truth than with sugar coating.

You see .. what is so sadly not stated is the truth of his death and what most likely led up to it… his use of drugs.

There is a great similarity in the stories in that they both.. Annie Oakley and Jimi Henrix .. overcame great odds to rise to the top of their art.

The sad contrast is that Annie became a solid member of society while Jimi succumbed to his weak side and lost.

Would the teacher approve of the daughter writing of Jimi Hendrix?

Annie Oakley vs Jimi Hendrix.

Hmmmmm……………. there are strong lessons to be learned by the kids here … through both stories of these legendary personalities … the honest and whole versions.