VKN Badass Gals: Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher, or the “Iron Lady”, as the Soviets of her time labelled her, was a very powerful woman during a time when women had very little power. She was Britain’s first and only woman prime minister. Her nickname stems from her uncompromising politics and overall leadership style. Regardless of how you feel about her politics, Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power is a notable story, worthy of retelling.

Keep reading to learn more about the “Iron Lady” herself, Margaret Thatcher, in this week’s edition of VK Nagrani’s Badass Gals!

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1. Humble Beginning

She was born Margaret Hilda Roberts, the daughter of a grocer and local alderman who later became the mayor of their countryside home in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Her mother gave birth to her and her older sister in the flat above the grocery their family owned and operated. The cramped apartment above the corner store lacked running water, central heating and didn’t even have any indoor plumbing.

Even though she came from a modest upbringing, she applied herself and wouldn’t let anything, even her gender, stop her from attaining her goals. She was accepted to Oxford University where she studied chemistry and Somerville College.

2. Soft-Serve Science

Thatcher always had plans to enter the political realm and try to make her mark, but her degree was in chemistry and wanted to do that for a little bit while gaining life experiences. After a short stint at a plastics research facility, she worked as a food scientist for J. Lyons and Co. where she worked on a team that found a way to maximize the amount of air injected into ice cream so that it could be manufactured with less ingredients for a lower cost. This breakthrough led to the mass production of soft-serve ice cream that was shipped all across Great Britain, under the supremely British title “Mr. Whippy”.

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3. First Woman Prime Minister

Finally, ready to enter a career in politics, she was elected to the House of Commons in 1959, representing Finchley. She worked in the House for a few years, slowly climbing the ranks of the parliamentary elite. At the time of her election, only 4 percent of the total political body of the House of Commons were women. It was very frustrating for her to be one of only several women in the political system, there were many roadblocks along the way. She was even quoted saying:

There will not be a woman prime minister in my time. The male population is too prejudiced.

Just five years later, she supplanted former Prime Minister Edward Heath as the leader of the Conservative Party, and became the first woman to head a major British political party. A few years after that, she proved herself wrong and won the keys to 10 Downing Street.

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Margaret Thatcher had a long and illustrious career and was a major player on the world stage. She was the longest running British Prime Minister of the 20th century, elected for three consecutive terms.

For more stories of real Badass Gals, keep the VK Nagrani Blog book marked.

 

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VKN Badass Guys: Caravaggio

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In every human, and especially ancient masculine types, there exists a duality – moon and sun, tragedy and comedy, all that. But, you’d be hard pressed to find a person in history with as much of a duality in personality since Jekyll and Hyde, as you would in the master painter, Michelangelo Merisi di Caravaggio. During this time, the other Michelangelo was super famous, so he shortened it to just Caravaggio. You may only know of Caravaggio through his artistic contributions, but he was also a pretty crazy dude and even led a Renaissance-era gang of thieves and criminals.

Keep reading to see why we at VK Nagrani think this Renaissance-era master painter was also a total Badass.

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1. Moderate Upbringing

Since we live in the future, it’s hard to imagine Renaissance-era life, at any level or caste, to be anything more than squalor. But Caravaggio came from a moderately well-to-do family of middling wealth. Although his family was okay, there was suffering and pain all around the young man. He was born in the midst of a deep famine that caused quite a bit of poverty for the families around him. It is suspected that it was here where he learned to shift around with the wrong crowd.

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2. Life in Rome

At the ripe-old age of 21, Caravaggio grew tired of the commonplace setting he grew up in and peaced out to the capital city of Rome. He worked tirelessly trying to get by in post-Reformation society, but he simply could not paint fast enough to make a livable wage.

Caravaggio was never able to capitalize on his success, for his character and personal life were even darker and more controversial than his paintings. With his unruly black curls and unkempt black beard, the artist was known to wander the streets of Rome dressed in black, accompanied by his black dog, Crow (the bird-harbinger of death), and brandishing swords and daggers at the slightest provocation.

So, he did what any normal person who was just trying to get by did: turned to a life of crime.

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3. Without Hope, Without Fear

Caravaggio had a police record many pages long filled with stories of assault, illegal weapons, harassing the police and complex affairs with prostitutes and courtesans. Caravaggio’s numerous legal problems often meant that the artist would suddenly have to flee Rome or be otherwise unable to complete a commission.

He became leader of a group of no-named ruffians, who lived by the motto “nec spec, nec meto” or “Without Hope, Without Fear”.

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4. Exile

Caravaggio’s brawling, trouble-making tendencies reached a whole new level on the 28th of May, 1606. On this date, following a disputed tennis match, Caravaggio and his friends were involved in a street brawl with Caravaggio’s young foe Ranuccio Tomassoni and his gang. Caravaggio ended up dealing the young Tomassoni a fatal stab wound in the groin. With a price on his head, Caravaggio was forced to flee Rome for the last time.

He was granted a pardon by Pope Paul V, but mysteriously vanished on the ship home, and his body was never recovered.

Keep it tuned to VK Nagrani Blog for more of our Badass Guys series.

 

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Man Of The Month – Chris Patton


MOVING & STORAGE
CEO of VICTORY VAN CORPORATION
WASHINGTON, D.C.

 

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Mr. Patton wearing the Moto Leather Jacket in mercury.

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Mr. Patton is one of our original believers.  Our relationship began over 12 years ago.  Over the years, we have named socks after each of his three kids and one just for him.  As time has passed, we have become friends and a sense of trust has been established.  Mr. Patton, at 6′ 5″ and all muscle requires pieces to be made exclusively for him. 

When I am working on a particular piece, I always save fabric to make a custom, one of a kind piece for him.  He may never even see it until it is delivered to him.  It is that kind of trust that we aim for with each and every one of our clients.  Mr. Patton, here is to many more years to come.  Thank you for your friendship and support.

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 “When I showed my 3rd child Sidney what her sock design was. She was fired up!”

 

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Q & A

 

Hobbies
Ping pong, Corn hole, golf, MTN biking, and surfing. I have never disliked a competitive game.

 

Hotel of choice
The W Hotel in D.C., the view on the rooftop is awesome.

 

Favorite restaurant
IL Giardino Ristorante, Virginia Beach, VA.

 

Favorite thing to do in D.C.
I like live music, and D.C. brings in great talent.  Other than that, I have a great family and group of friends.  We golf, MTN bike, ping pong and Corn hole all the time.

 

Favorite bar
Club Rex, 113 King Street, Alexandria VA.

 

Favorite drink of choice
Gave up alcohol many years ago, now I drink Pellegrino.

 

What differentiates VKN from anything else you own
I am an early supporter of VK Nagrani, and have worn his clothing for more than 10 years.  All of my children have socks that were named after them.  Watching the transformation from socks to lifestyle clothing has been cool.  The quality is demanding.

 

Favorite VK Nagrani picks
Any socks, underwear, pajamas, shirts and now jackets…  My favorite piece in my entire wardrobe is this leather jacket I got last year.  When I put it on, I have that “bad ass” feeling.

 

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Badass Moments in History: The Battle of Wizna

You’ve likely heard of the famous Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 really buff Spartans kicked a bunch of Persians into a big hole – or something like that. Well, while that was a real and badass moment of ancient history, there was another, lesser-known version that happened during the German invasion of Poland, right before World War II broke out. While the Germans did eventually rock Poland so hard they lost all the vowels in their alphabet, there was a glorious Rocky-style underdog story to be found in a sleepy country village called Wizna.

Keep reading to see the latest from VK Nagrani’s Badass Moments in History series, where we delve into the story of how 700 Polish soldiers held their position against over 40,000 armed Wehrmacht men, 350 tanks, 650 mortars and artillery, along with some air support.

1. Preparation

The year of 1939 was a particularly shitty year to be a resident of East Poland. The Polish defensive forces had the unenviable task of slowing the inevitable westward march of both the Nazi Wehrmacht and the Soviet Army.

By the time the Germans arrived, the Poles had around six pieces of artillery, 42 machine guns, and two anti-tank rifles, as well as a limited amount of time to dig a defensive stance into the countryside. Morale was low – to say the least. To rally his men, Captain Władysław Raginis vowed to never leave his post while he was alive.

2. Incoming

The Germans, in a rare act of humanity, dropped leaflets urging the Poles to surrender. But they didn’t realize they were dealing with a group of hard-hitting, pipe-swinging, pierogi-eating badass motherfuckers who wouldn’t back down from a fight from anyone. The Germans shrugged and started blasting into the Poles with artillery and aerial bombardment.

3. The Fight

They were outgunned and had to pull back inside their bunkers, where they were met with fire from three sides from German tanks and infantry. The Polish soldiers fought so fierce that they were able to stall the advancement of the German army for three days. However, eventually, the Krauts began the slow and arduous campaign of isolating and destroying the bunkers and pillboxes, slowly causing Polish numbers to dwindle.

4. Elimination

Almost all Polish soldiers were killed in this campaign – save for about 40 captured men, and brave Captain Władysław Raginis, who was now gravely wounded.

The Germans ceased fire, and offered the Polish a chance to surrender lest they kill their prisoners of war. Captain Władysław allowed the surviving men of his regiment to surrender – yet in keeping with the vow he made to his men to never surrender while he lived, jumped on a live grenade.

5. History

While even though nearly all the men in this famous last stand were killed in battle, the message it sent was one of great valor and bravery. These brave men kicked off one of the bloodiest segments in human history with an act of selflessness. They showed that there is value in setting an example, in creating a legend, in slowing the advancement of evil if only for the sake of doing so comes at the cost of your own life.

Keep checking in with the VK Nagrani Blog for more updates in the Badass Moments in History series.

 

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