Yo Guys! as the moderns say. Allegedly.
I grew up with a Band of Brothers (and some sisters) but mostly brothers. Being the eldest I had to co-opt some to be in my gang as it were because I didn’t have enough to hand.
Now the hard part to admit: Some of these- no most- were fantasy creations,based on real people to some extent but generally culled from literature, books & comics and later adding musical influences to the mix; because of the place and time I grew up this was how I coped with not enough real life role models that I respected enough.
Also, past more than present- see above. Surrounded by various examples of how NOT to behave, live one’s life, treat other humans, animals and plants, I took the Interior Route to maintain a semblance of sanity, bearing in mind I was mostly only a little boy in a fairly large family ( catholic parents) and living in one of the farthest reaches of an Empire crumbling to dusty decrepitude as I grew to maturity.
This was Central Africa in 50’s /60’s. The fearful exodus from the Belgian Congo was a wake-up call that I remember even now: Dreadful events on one’s doorstep made everything seem suddenly different. One was going to be slaughtered in one’s bed! People drove hundreds of miles- hardly anyone flew- so distances were much like in the US. It was only a few hours to the border with Northern Rhodesia and the Congo was another few beyond that. In my mind and to most of the white population, even down South, it was on the doorstep. The horror of another awful upheavel after the mau-mau in Kenya a short while before was on our minds even if we never uttered it for fear of making it happen or something I don’t know I was only a child able to read newspapers and hear news reports so it was scary enough. To adults with the last Great War not many years past, it was a big concern that now I believe drove many to drink more to forget this continual backdrop.
Must be a novel at least in there I’ve always believed; if we all have one at least, here I was blessed with “an opportunity” along the lines of Marcel, a multi-sectioned tome of chapteroos or even a veritable Ring Cycle !! Never mind “Tommy” or “Sgt PepmeUp”.
So these guys, Sherlock, William Brown, Biggles, Allan Quartermain, and a few others from the sporting world- Fiery Fred, Sir Garfield, Peter May, all combined to keep me fairly sane as I saw it. To my acquaintances I was probably a few pence short of sixpence abd anyway they coped with the surrounding situation in different ways. The way I saw it was clear.