Manly Men in America

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February 7, 2013

From Thora Magnusson:

Manly Men

To Know Them Is To Love Them



It is American to be a manly man. I’m just going to state it, there it is. There is a big difference, chasm sized, between the red-blooded, meat-eating, woman-loving American male and that of other males across the globe. I have an appreciation for all men, in general, gotta love ‘em!  Whether he was born and raised here or transplanted from another country and raised here. The manly man is my kind of fella.



When did grilling become the epitome of being a man? I guess I’d have to put the blame on Bobby Flay for that starred item on my list. There is something about a man who knows how to grill meat and vegetables, and can take charge in the backyard, fire up the grill or barbecue and go at it, with smoke and fire…just gets my blood to racing through my body. I love to cook and bake, but I want to watch him stand there, all proud with that extra big, long handled fork in hand; checking to see if the T-bone is medium well for our summer party guests who are waiting in awe at his talents displayed right for everybody to see. “Don’t forget the corn on the cob (in its husk), honey!” I’d yell from the kitchen, as if he would forget.



I grew up watching the Packers and the 49ers with my dad. Football is still, such a manly game. It isn’t America’s past time, but it’s also not as slow as baseball is, for my liking, and it isn’t too fast to keep up with as basketball can be. It also happens in the fall and winter months, when you can be cozying up to your honey in the bleacher seats with a hot cup of something. It’s a very exciting, toe to toe sport!



Oh, my. I can still see and feel his hands in memory…the one who got away. What is it about hands? They are for holding and navigating a hammer and nail. They are for holding your hand or your face. They are for holding the door open. They are for holding your baby. Good hands are a very good thing. Hands that have done man’s work; I love me a greatly skilled handy man around the house. Hands that are big enough to make mine feel small (I’m not petite). Hands that know how to be gentle when required. Hands for driving the sports car or motorcycle!

Hours before my dad passed away, I was holding my father’s hand. His body so very weak, in immense pain and losing life, lying in his death bed; yet he kept the strength in his grip communicating to me he knew I was there. Along with the pillowy soft cushion on the inside of his hand called back to mind those childhood memories of him and me together. He had the perfect balance of ultimate strength (he had been a boxer back in the 40’s) and the gentlest of touch for his children, and all of the children he loved so.



When I was thirteen, my older brother took me to the family California style “ranch.” No farming or herding or animals of any kind belonging to the ranch; only small reptiles, birds and cows to visit at the neighboring ranch about a mile away. He brought out his Ruger .22 rifle. Then he set up tin cans in the distance for me to shoot. I was so excited. I was a good shot, it turned out and it was a very smooth and easy weapon to fire. I loved it. We shot until he was out of ammo.

A couple years later, my boyfriend’s father took us to some secret place in the hills of Southern California, with the shell of a car on display, decorated with bullet holes at the base of the hills. His father found an area we could call our own for a couple of hours to shoot at targets. This time, we had a ball & powder revolver, a 9MM handgun and a few choices for semi-automatic rifles. My shoulder’s bruise and ache reminded me for the next few days how great that experience was, being with father & son. How well they handled themselves and their firearms.

A man, who knows his weapons, can disassemble them, clean them, reassemble them, recommend which ones to buy for what purpose and can protect his loved ones from arm. That’s my kind of man. I do not want to have to be the one who has courage under attack or heaven forbid, under fire. I’m ready to assist, but let him take the lead!



Please drive. I want the man to drive, unless there is some particular reason I need to help out. It is a great thing when a man knows how to handle a car, inside and out. To drive well, to drive fast when there are no senior citizens or children in the car and get us where we are going. I prefer a sports car to ride in. I prefer a motorcycle to ride on! If a man can handle a bike, I’m there in a heartbeat. Both my father and my brother rode motorcycles. In the Bay Area it was an easy decision. There is nothing like the feeling of being on the back of a motorcycle, holding onto your man, arms wrapped tight around his leather jacket. The sound and smell of it as you squeezed harder to take that turn, your head leaning against his back and the speed of everything else going by you.

ThoraFace shot Christmas card 2011

Thora Magnusson was born in Northern California, and raised in Southern California. She is the mother of three children and her hobbies & interests: writing, film watching, road trips, real estate, and spending time with her family and friends. As long as California continues to produce beautiful, patriotic women such as Thora, there is hope for the Golden State.


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