They Called Him Joe: An Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary Man

They Called Him Joe: An Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary Man

by Al Long, Tad Allen Long



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780929478623
Publisher: Cross Training Publishing
Publication date: 10/28/2003
Pages: 166
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

This is Dr. Al Long's second book, the first being Leadership Tripod. Al also speaks and conducts seminars for public and private organizations.

Tad Allen Long lives near Indianapolis with his wife and three daughters. Tad holds a bachelor of science degree from the Purdue University Krannert School of Management and a master of business administration degree from Butler University in Indianapolis. Tad works in the areas of publishing and consulting and enjoys spending the rest of his time between various family and church activities.

Read an Excerpt

A few short weeks later the decision seemed much more of a God thing than a man thing. A newspaper article appeared with a picture of a man the family recognized staring blankly into the camera. It was the fifty-year-old "aristocrat" being led away in handcuffs by the police. The account in the news article revealed this man who had come to lift the Grants out of poverty by "helping" Charlotte to a better life was in fact a white slave trader. He had sold many young, poor girls just like Charlotte into the bonds of slavery overseas and had finally been caught. Even though Joe had spent more time away from Charlotte and Georgia it was evident his love and devotion for them never wavered and in fact seemed to continue to grow.

Later in life Joe continued to serve and care for Georgia up until the time of her death. To emphasize this, an event recounted by Charlotte herself occurred about this same time of the "slavery" incident. For some reason Arthur had decided to take out his frustrations of life on Georgia in a physical manner. He had her bent over the sink and was about to strike her when in walked her wayward son, Joe. In his calm, calculating voice and manner, Charlotte describes Joe grabbing Arthur and pulling him back away from the terrified Georgia. There is no way of knowing how many times this may have taken place in the past, but this was the last time it took place. Joe, in no uncertain terms, laid down the gauntlet to Arthur and made a sobering promise if he ever heard or saw Arthur touching his mother in anger, it would be the last thing he would ever do. Knowing Joe's heart it would be hard to imagine him killing anyone, but surely Arthur knew he would pay the price ifhe did not heed Joe's words.

After several attempts to secure full-time work to no avail, Joe was able to get a part-time job singing live on the air at a local radio station. Commercial radio broadcasts were still very new. It was 1935, three years before the famous airing of the Orson Welles radio broadcast War of the Worlds. Welles inadvertently created a nation-wide panic when he described aliens invading from outer space causing people to mistakenly take his entertainment show for an actual news broadcast describing the country under attack.

Joe's impact, though not as dramatic as Welles', still influenced the few who heard his singing. As usual, the job didn't come easily for Joe. With Guy's car now just a memory and without the means to own another or even to take the bus on a regular basis, he walked nearly two miles to work everyday and had to be at the radio station by 5:00 in the morning. In yet another indication of things to come, God used Joe to sing spiritual hymns during the religious portion of the station's daily programming. When he could scrape up enough extra money, he would take the bus to ease the burden of getting to work. After some time, the bus driver surmised that Joe was only riding when he had the money. The driver also came to realize where Joe was going and because he was singing religious songs, the driver found it in his heart to start allowing Joe to ride the bus for free. The driver was evidently one of those few who had been impacted by Joe's voice on the radio. The artistic ability that Joe had begun refining as a young man with his friends singing on the streets as they wandered about town was now putting bread on his table.

He also used this opportunity to branch out and further his singing career by joining a band as well as singing and entertaining at local establishments. The band spent time touring which wasn't exactly the environment Joe needed if he had any chance of kicking his habits of women and alcohol. Although God had finally given him a mentor, Joe was finding himself away from the Presbyterian Church more and more when Sunday came around. The temptations of being on the road with his band were too strong and Joe was succumbing more and more to the evil vices that were slowly tightening the grip on his body and soul. Once again, he came to a point of crisis and reached out helplessly for a new direction, choosing to return to the Navy for another two years of service.

By that time they had a minstrel group going so I joined the minstrel group. I was number one-in man, so I was the lowest (voice). I sang in a duet and the quartet. Of course we'd go out … going different places to entertain. At that time, I was singing with a band and also I was on radio. We, of course, when we went out on tour, we would take our drinks with us and carry on as usual. Girls were no problem, there were a million of them seemed like. These were things that just happened from time to time. It got to be boring. Anyway we went on and on and on and my habit wasn't getting any better and things weren't going the way I wanted them to so this was when I reenlisted.

The second stint in the Navy wasn't much more for Joe than confirmation of the adage that "history has a way of repeating itself." The ray of sunshine in his otherwise hurricane-like existence was the opportunity to reinvigorate his passion for boxing. Joe was now in the prime of his boxing career much like his idol Mickey Walker was back when Joe first came into the sport. His growing list of Navy boxing accolades provided him the opportunity to test his skills with some very accomplished fighters. In fact, Joe rose through the ranks to eventually become the Junior Welterweight Champion of the Navy. His main foe at this time was a gritty Irishmen who Joe describes in the following passage…

Of course I was active in my boxing again and it seemed like things were going pretty good. We had a Junior Welterweight that I fought. He was a little redhead Irishman, tougher than nails. The first time he whipped me, and the second time I won on a foul. They called a foul then when you were hit below the belt, so I became the champion. We fought several times after that and finally he got killed so that ended that with him, but it left a sorrowful place in my heart because I really admired him and he was a good sport and a good athlete.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Protection
Chapter 1. The First Decade
Chapter 2. The Second Decade
Chapter 3. The Third Decade
Section 2: Forgiveness
Chapter 4. The Fourth Decade
Chapter 5. The Fifth Decade
Section 3: Serving
Chapter 6. The Sixth Decade
Chapter 7. The Seventh Decade
Chapter 8. The Eighth Decade
Chapter 9. The Ninth Decade
Section 4: Served
Post Script

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