Join Date: Jun 2009
Several days earlier
Coal Creek Memorial Cemetery
Nice send-off for Roy- says Time-Rider.
Guess we have another reason to hate Blackhorn. Can’t understand what he’d want with a long-retired superhero- replies Captain Freedom.
Time-Rider say- Let’s not focus on how he died, let’s just praise his large body of work.
Indeed- says Captain Freedom- he was a great man. What an amazing life; like you he was there from pretty much the beginning of the “superhero” biz.
Perhaps even more so Captain. While I was technically around in the 1940s, I wasn’t publicly “active” like American Patriot. In fact, we didn’t really meet till many years after the War ended.
I never met Roy back then either. I recall hearing of him as part of the Heroes of the Homefront program. He eventually made it to Europe to handle Serpent Lord, but I can’t say we ever crossed paths there either.
As an “on-looker” of sorts back then, I know Roy really stepped up his game once it was clear you were presumed dead in ‘45. The War only lasted a few more months by then, but he brought allot of energy back with him. He was very visible for several years after the War then faded away a bit. I know for a fact he helped in Korea, but didn’t get much press. The public enjoyed the exploits of the heavy-weights and couldn’t get enough of B29 and Johnny Rebel. Then once B29 disappeared the spotlight shone on Johnny even more. The exploits of American Patriot seldom made front page after that.
I read up on him while I was playing catch up in the mid-‘90s. To varying degrees he was active for over 50 years, correct?
Yes. He seems to work in spurts through every decade including the early‘90s.
It’s really a shame Time-Rider.
I’m partially responsible for him not getting the respect he should have originally. I came first and Roy’s American Patriot was often given the “imitation” treatment.
That was the public’s perception; you weren’t responsible for it.
I know. But looking back I can’t help but still feel a little angst about it.
As far as I know Roy never held a grudge.
That doesn’t surprise me. Class act till the end. When did you meet him TR?
I actually first met Roy in the late 1950s. By “met”, I mean we were in the same room. He gave a civil rights speech in Tennessee. Even though he was a known war-hero and all, his reception wasn’t well received by all. I was there simply as John Martin, not Time-Rider. There were so few metas around back then so seeing him in full costume in front of a majority hostile crowd was something to see. It was very inspirational to see him do the right thing, just like he’d done during the War.
So when did you actually meet him?
Very early 1970s. The ATTA was prepping me for a full on public superhero role.
I had done allot of work through the 1960s, but nearly all of it was behind the scenes stuff that dealt with time anomalies. Very little public interaction. Anyway in about 1973, the ATTA thought Roy could mentor me a bit since he had periods of costumed adventures for about 30 years by then. More experience than most. Unfortunately I caught Roy at a low point as much of the public was skeptical of our military role in Vietnam. He’d earlier gone active on the behest of the government in 1968 to instill patriotic pride. Roy saw a little combat action in Vietnam, but he mostly rallied the troops in conjunction with the USO. He was a regular part of Bob Hope’s shows. By 1972 many of the public just weren’t listening to him. They saw him as a living government propaganda machine. Though he was a hero of “the Good War”, he was just a “government stooge” as Vietnam dragged on. Roy legitimately felt a bit betrayed and put away his costume once again. He was happy to help me, though I honestly feel his heart wasn’t 100% into it. Still, he shared allot of valuable knowledge with me as he saw me as part of the next great generation of superheroes.
“Next generation” John? You two are nearly the exact same age.
I know. He was aware of my birthdate, but back then I still barely looked 30 and probably carried myself as such. It was easy to overlook my true age. Come to think of it, aren’t you older than both Roy and me?
Captain Freedom smiles but doesn’t answer.
Roy’s shield looks good in your hands Captain. It’ll look even better on permanent display at Prime Hall’s Hall of Fame.
Not for a full 30 days though. I promised his grandkids I’d wield the shield for the next month as a way to honor Roy’s American Patriot.
That’s a nice gesture Roger. So what will we call you in the interim, perhaps “American Freedom” or better yet “Captain America”?
Kinda like that second one, but I think I’ll just stay with “Captain Freedom” thank you very much.
Probably a good idea. How about you Captain? American Patriot was been retired for so long that I don’t think we’ve ever discussed him till the last few days. When did you finally meet?
Like I said earlier, we never met back in the 40s so it wasn’t until after I was unfrozen. I met Roy as a civilian in 1999 or maybe 2000. It was by happenstance. At the time he was in his semi-retired role as transportation coordinator for the SDL.
You mean “trucker”?
Yes, trucker. I rode with him as security on an overnight run between Prime Hall and Area 51...Paradise Ranch. He casually mentioned he’d been American Patriot back in the day. I was stunned and a bit apprehensive. It was quiet for a while till I mustered up the courage to speak.
You’ve stared down Death Mask and you were scared of an old trucker?
You know it’s more than that John. I truly was embarrassed. Embarrassed of the probable grief I’d caused him during the War and embarrassed I’d done same thing in 1991 and embarrassed I hadn’t talked to him about until we were thrown together in the cab of a truck.
I’d forgot about ’91. He had a short comeback didn’t he?
Very short. I was found in Berlin and he was quickly overshadowed again by the wave of nostalgia that erupted.
Even in his 70s he still filled out the costume well. Heck, he honestly didn’t look that much older now.
For a guy who didn’t have age regressive modifications like us he sure held up well.
So what did Roy have to say during the ride back then?
He couldn’t have been more gracious. He could tell I was troubled as I began my apology. In the end he made it clear that in no way did he ever hold a grudge against me. He acknowledged that he was at most a victim of circumstances that were beyond either of our control. It meant the world to me. After that we often shared breakfasts at the Prime Hall commissary whenever he had a load to haul. Probably got together a dozen times. We never once talked again about the superhero biz; topics were family and grandkids. After he fully retired I didn’t see him again till today.
Another reminder that we’re both getting older Roger. It’d probably been even longer for me since I’d actually talked with Roy. We often forget to recognize the greatness around us at the time.
Captain Freedom smiles and says- “Time”, eh? Aren’t you Time-Rider?
Time-Rider nods his head in agreement and replies- Hungry? How do you feel about a little breakfast Roger, say circa 2001?