SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Vickie Smith Odabashian recently reflected on the nature of what it means to be a hero, offering up the tale of her father’s extraordinary life as evidence that real heroes still exist. Defined by small but important details, what makes these poignant, heroic deeds so remarkable is that they are often born from lives of violence and grief. Vickie chronicled many such stories in the biography of her father as a way to enshrine both his and their deeds forever. And in doing so, she revealed that the greatest heroes rarely wear capes – preferring instead to remain humbly in the background.
The Life of Jack Smith: Big Heroes Revealed in Small Details
"My father Jack was a hero in the truest sense of the term," said Vickie. "Not only because he lived nobly and honestly, and was a near-perfect gentleman who devoted his life to public service. But also because he was a loving man who cared about others, whether it was a drunk on the street or his best friend. Most remarkable of all, he chose to be kind and good despite living his entire adulthood with unresolved childhood trauma. And that’s the type of person whose life really sings the purest song – those who choose to be good when they don’t have to, even when their lives have been marked by so much pain."
Heroes featured in Jack’s life story include:
- A motley crew of misfits, including a gay man, two drunken motel owners, a prostitute, and a drug addict who helped raise Jack and keep him safe in a motel in the 1954 Tenderloin district of San Francisco. A misfit himself, Jack went to school and spent time tending to injured pigeons on the motel roof.
- A U.S. Coast Guard who rescued Jack, saving him from drowning on the Pacific Coast when his fishing boat, the Romona R, sank in the late 1970s.
- A Butte County Sheriff who served as Jack’s mentor and refused to carry a gun "because he worried that he might hurt someone." The Sheriff used goodwill and wits to keep the peace instead, resorting to violent measures only when he had to, like stopping a fleeing suspect with a well-pitched rock to the back.
- An Armenian General, Andranik Ozanian, who defended ancient Armenian land and common people from brutal massacres and genocide orchestrated by the Turkish government.
- Civilians who put their lives on the line to clean up the oil spill at Valdez; small town protestors who fought racism, discrimination, and murderous hate crimes without receiving any recognition or compensation for their efforts; peaceful protestors who risked their safety in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, later sparking the genocidal efforts of Serbian President Slobodan Milošević; witnesses and victims of a government coup attempt in Moscow, during the final states of Mikhail Gorbachev’s presidency; and so many more.
"I’ve detailed dozens of stories of my dad’s kind acts and brave contributions to the world," Vickie continued. "And I love that his life highlights the importance of that role – those beautiful supporting characters who live and die without people really knowing of their heroism. People who quietly hold the world up on their shoulders."
To learn more about Jack’s fascinating life and explore the tales of other small town heroes he encountered, read "What Became of Little Jackie Smith?: A True Story Continued" – available on Amazon. And learn more about Vickie’s work and her publishing company, the Victoria Lazarian Heritage Association, at: www.VLAHABooks.com.
Vickie Smith Odabashian, Author
SOURCE Vickie Odabashian