"We can be heroes...."
Anyway, now that I've covered my family, on to my heroes from my childhood and high school years;
Mike: My best friend, and although he and I have had our differences, there are few people I respect more. While I have my family to thank for my more positive characteristics, I have to thank Mike for showing me my darker nature. By exposing me to my anger, ruthlessness and cruelty, he unknowingly (?) innocculated me to it, and gave me the means to control it. In turn, I hope I have shown him that there is more to life than that.
Ross: Ross and I have been kindred spirits: Hot headed picked on kids of Italian lineage. Which probably explained why we used to hate each other so much. That being said, he's shown just how far past that sort of crap we can go, and he's been an inspiration in that regard. Kudos, dude.
Barb: While I regret that it has been too many years since I last saw or spoke to her, Barb had the unique distinction of being the first woman outside my family to believe in me, and to expand my horizons. Any instinct I have to change and better myself are a direct result of her showing me just how limited and immature I was. I never her thanked her for that. Barb if you are reading this, thanks.
Bob Denham: My chain-smoking, misogynistic, alcoholic Gr.9 English teacher was the first teacher (outside my mom, of course) who thought I had any real talent at anything. That bastard started my affair with writing, and he deeply influenced my writing style. Thanks, Bob
The Skaters (Adam et. al.): There were two "groups" in my school; the jocks and the skaters. I didn't really understand or belong to any particular group, but it was the skaters I related to more easily. They used a "live and let live" policy that was refreshing change from hyper-competitive materialism that was more typical of jocks. Aside from which, the skaters saw things in high school ffor what they were; completely fucking arbitrary.