Jason Cochran

Stuff you never knew you never knew

Jan

13

2011

So… have a look at this guy. Do you know who this is?

Who's this cheeky bugger?

I have this picture pinned up by my desk. It’s not hard to see what’s so captivating about it. This 21-year-old kid is smug! There’s something incredibly cocky about the little devil; he just thinks he knows all the answers, doesn’t he? The spread of his legs, the self-assured slattern eyes; he’s as modern as a teen-ager who won’t get off his cell phone.

Here are some facts to lead you to his identity:

  • He was half American. His mother was born in Brooklyn.
  • He failed three exams to gain entrance to the calvary. That was around the time this was taken, but he’s looking pretty cool because his mother is rich and he knows it’s gonna be fine.
  • He was a brilliant writer, and so his first claim to world fame was as a war correspondent.
  • Although he traveled to India, Sudan, and Cuba, he was most known for being kidnapped as a P.O.W. in South Africa during the Boer War. He escaped on a passing train, traveled 300 miles to safety, and was hidden by a mine manager before coming home. His bold tale made him famous.
  • On the back of this global fame, he decided to get into politics. He failed at that — repeatedly — until he finally secured a minor office. Pretty much failed at that, too.
  • His mentor, father figure, and role model, Bourke Cockran (I may be related), was a former lover of his mother, an Irish immigrant to America, and a five-time member of the United States House of Representatives. Cockran taught this boy how to orate.

Can you see any greatness in this kid? Or would he benefit most by being grounded? Would you let him borrow your car, let alone unsheath that saber in mixed company?

Last clues:

  • This image was taken in 1895, the year of his father’s death. This mouthy punk would live another 70 years, until 1965.
  • This kid saved England.

The answer?

It proves that you can never tell where greatness lies, and that you can never judge today what will be indispensable tomorrow. This little tough guy is Winston Churchill.

So don’t be impatient about your own life. It takes a lifetime, sometimes, to reach your destiny.

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