by Allie from Pickerington

What is a hero to me? When people think of heroes, they often think of The Hulk or Spiderman. Little do people realize that heroes don't have to have super powers. They can simply just have an impact on your life. A hero in my eyes is one who does one's best to help others or give advice to the best of his or her ability. A hero is one who others can always turn to or depend upon when in need. A hero, to me, always deserve a "thank you" for all that he/she does. A hero is an ordinary person who does extraordinary things.


I believe that everyone should have a hero. Whether it is someone famous or someone as simple as a next door neighbor, everyone should have someone who fulfills the role of a hero to them. When people have heroes, they strive to copy those traits that they respect the most in their hero. As a result, if they work hard enough, they could become a hero for someone else. Therefore, that one "hero" can make a lasting impression on many others- perhaps without even realizing it.

In my opinion, Joseph is a hero. While he doesn't play a huge part in the plot of this book, his spirit and influence helped change Calogero for the better. Joseph made a choice, as the last full-blooded Tunica Indian left alive, to live up to his abilities and become a strong and independent man. "And you can ascend to the sky and become thunder. You can be the manager of the clouds and the rain" (Napoli 121). This quote that is said by Joseph shows that he is a hero because he is telling Calogero that he could become anything he wants. Later, Joseph makes his message even clearer. "You are free. You can choose. You can become what you choose" (Napoli 270). Certainly with this type of support, Calogero understands that he can become the person he wants to be no matter what type of family he comes from. The last example of heroism displayed by Joseph shows Calogero that he can be strong and comforting at the same time. "Do you think I am afraid? You are wrong. Come, friend. Talk after you sleep" (Napoli 265).

Joseph must be considered to earn recognition as a hero by being inducted into the Hero Hall of Fame. He has displayed the traits of a true hero; strength, honor, wisdom, bravery, patience, and many others. Joseph has served as a role model for members of the community but never got in the way. By being recognized with this honor, many others would learn of Joseph's wonderful traits and become stronger and more independent themselves. What a great influence one man could have on a whole community! Without a doubt, Joseph is worthy of the honor of being inducted into the Hero Hall of Fame.


The following is an interview between Allie Luther and Joseph.

Q: How does it feel to be the last Tunica?
A: Being the last Tunica has mixed feelings for me. I am glad to represent my tribe in the best way I can. It is also a little hard because I do not have children to carry on the traditions, beliefs, and customs of my tribe. Therefore, all of these will die with me.
Q: Do you see yourself as a hero?
A: I try to live my life the best way I can. If that makes me a hero, then I guess I am.
Q: Is it important to you to have a hero?
A: Yes. I believe everyone needs a role model so that they can try to be like them. This gives them someone to admire and look up to.
Q: In your eyes, what makes someone a hero?
A: A good heart, a willingness to help, always trying your best, and admitting when you have made a mistake.
Q: Who is your hero?
A: My great-grandfather was our tribal chief. He gained the respect of all of our tribe members by leading us with fairness, honesty, firmness, and bravery. Growing up, I wanted nothing more than to be like him.
Q; Are there any young people that you see as having potential to become a hero to others?
A: I am impressed with a young man named Calogero. He is not afraid to try new things or to ask for advice when needed. I believe he may already be a hero to his younger cousin.
Q: What is your strongest character trait?
A: I try to look at the positive sides of all things in my life. I do not allow myself to dwell on things that are negative.
Q: What else do you want to accomplish in your life?
A: I would love for there to be some way for the traditions and ways of my tribe to be passed on to another generation.
Q: Do you ever get lonely?
A: Not really. I have my pottery making skills and my boat to keep myself busy. During quiet times, I reflect on my life and the lives of my ancestors.
Q: What would you like to be remembered for?
A: I hope I will be remembered for my patience and willingness to help others. I hope others will try to copy these traits in their own lives.
Q: What do you see in Calogero's future?
A; Peace, understanding, and acceptance-for these are the traits that will make him a hero to others.

Page created on 4/7/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 4/7/2011 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Tunica Tribe - My hero is the last of his living Tunica tribe.

Author Info

"Alligator Bayou" is a moving story with many memorable characters. The setting is brought to life by the author's choice of words and descriptive language. The plot is sure to capture the reader's attention.