The Legend vs The Legend:
Hugh O’Brian vs HOBY
I totally met a famous person. If you don’t know who Hugh O’Brian is, the educate yourself. He’s a big deal.
“The most important thing… is to teach young people to think for themselves.”
Dr Albert Schweitzer
For those of you who don’t know what the HOBY story is (which is probably just about everyone who will be reading this) I’ll summarize for you.
Once upon a time in 1958, Hugh was famous for playing Wyatt Earp (TV cowboy) and he was invited to go to Africa with Dr Albert Schweitzer. As the name implies, he’s German (yay!). He’s also a famous missionary/theologian/musician/philosopher. Of course, the handsome Mr O’Brian accepted! He was out there in two weeks, volunteering at a hospital by day and having deep discussions with Dr Albert by night. (From those conversations came the above quote.) When it was time for Hugh to go back to America, Dr. Albert asked, “Hugh, what are you going to do with this?” Two weeks later, Hugh O’Brain started on what would become Hugh O’Brain’s Youth Leadership (aka HOBY).
So what was it like to meet the legend that started the legend?
Nobody knew he was coming. I mean NOBODY. Not even the program directors. It was the last day and emotions were running rather high already. Hugh wasn’t suppose call this weekend but during the closing ceremony, he did!
I couldn’t quite hear what was going on, but it sounded like he was talking about paint balling. Then after a while I heard an echo of the voice on the phone. I turned around to see THE HUGH O’BRAIN walk in! The room erupted! Some people were in tears and others shook with excitement.
Oh. Did I mention I also ate lunch with him? Ya. We’re like besties now. He’s like 80 now and I think the age is getting to him. I was a little worried to see him drive off. I guess if he got lost, he could always just call up his buddy Robert Redford. Hugh is a charming, insightful, interesting (in every sense), and what you would expect your average 80-year old man to be.
This man has changed thousands of lives. He has changed mine. And there he was; Looking for his keys. His legend lives through thousands of HOBY alumni across the world. He spoke of what has happened to many HOBY alumni (many of which are now running our country). My story is just starting as are many others. I am so excited for all of this years ambassadors and I can’t wait to see what they do and become. One man, just one, gave birth to this:
Yes… That is me laying front and almost center. Totally against character, right?
And that isn’t even the most of it.