The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

When it's my moment in the sun, I won't forget that I am blessed, but every hero walks alone, thinking of more things to confess

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Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Life is What Happens When Your Busy Making Other Plans

I was inspired recently to write a list of all the things I want to do in my life while reading an article in a magazine. So I started to think. I wrote a lot of things down, scratched a lot of things off, and recounted all the things I have done.

So here it is...(In no particular order)

1. Witness a miracle.

2. Go on a month long motorcycle vacation with my dad. During the journey, I interview him about his life. At the end of the trip, I write a book about the journey and his life.

3. See my name in the ending credits of a movie.

4. Live in a European country for a few months.

5. Write a novel. Go on a book tour. Go to Square Books, sign a publicity photo, and make sure to mention the fact that they wouldn't hire me to sell books for them.

6. Be able to and donate a year's salary to charity.

7. Build a house by myself.

8. Run for office with a platform to only serve for one term so I can do as much possible in the short time I can serve.

9. Take a hot lap at the Indianapolis Speedway.

10. Write a poem underneath the Aurora Borealis.

11. Teach a class.

12. Marry a beautiful woman who understands me and tell her that I love her everyday for the rest of my life.

13. Pass the lifeguard test.

14. Own a racehorse.

15. Have season tickets to the Red Sox and catch a foul ball.

16. Adopt a child.

17. Invite a homeless person into my house as long as they need to get back on their feet.

18. Own a restaurant.

19. Run a marathon.

20. Enter a boxing match and not get my brains totally beat in.

21. Dunk a basketball.

22. Help fight a forrest fire.

23. Make someone laugh everyday for the rest of my life.

24. Own a farm.

25. Make my own batch of bourbon.

26. Go to the Super Bowl with my best friend John.

27. Go see a Dave Matthews concert once a year, for as long as they are playing.

28. Catch a 10 lbs. fish, give it a big kiss, and then throw it back in the water.

29. Memorize the Bible.

30. Always let my loved ones know how much I care for them.

31. Get up and do a standup comedy routine.

32. Translate a book.

33. Learn to play the banjo.

34. Visit the highest point in every single state.

35. Invent something and get a patent on it.

36. Go to the induction ceremony for the Baseball, Football, and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame.

37. See U2 in concert in Ireland.

38. Buy an Armani suit.

39. Live on a beach.

40. Perform as a clown in a circus.

41. Be a living example of God's love.

42. Die trying.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Look Away, Look Away

This morning the lead story on the AOL Sports Page was about my childhood hero, Rex Chapman (# 3 in your programs, #1 in your heart!!!). The headline stated that while he was at UK playing basketball he used to date African-American women, which was allegedly discouraged by people in the Athletic Department. He said that not only was there pressure, but there were incidents in which he was called racial slurs by people in Lexington and Owensboro, Rex's hometown as well as mine.

Here is one of his quote: "You know, I grew up in a place where racism is an epidemic. I'm not talking about 20 years ago. I'm talking to this day. Drive through the South. But it's not just the South. ..."

Now as you can imagine, this has made many people upset. The local newspaper wrote an article with lots of quotes that dispute the charges of racism. There was also the obligatory comment about how Owensboro has racism but it isn't more prevalent there than anywhere else.

I have seen this quote a lot. I have heard this quote a lot. And if you ask me, that is a piss poor excuse.

I have been a lot of different places in my life, and I can vouch for the fact that racism doesn't just exist in the South, it exists everywhere.

If we as a region and as a country want to really work on the race issue, it is going to take a lot of time and a lot of work and a lot of introspection. We as a society can't keep on ignoring the racism in our communities by saying it is worse other places and that racism exist everywhere and will always exist.

If we are willing to just shift the blame, then we are not doing our jobs as human beings.

We cannot be resigned to the allow racism to exist.

The only way to not be resigned is to be honest with ourselves and each other.

So here goes:

I am racist. Sometimes when driving, I say things I shouldn't. I get mad and frustrated and let my emotions control what I say about someone of a different race that is driving in front of me.

I let people use racial slurs around me. I don't protest when someone tells a racist joke, and usually just laugh somewhat nervously at them, not wanting to make any waves, not cause any friction.

I have told racist jokes before.

I have said the stupidest quote ever, "I'm not racist, I have black friends."

I have done nothing to fight racism on any sort of level.

I have told myself time and time again that I am not racist. I have told myself time and time again that I am open minded. I have told myself time and time again that racism is a problem everywhere and nothing can be done about it.

But the fact of the matter remains this, just because the sins of another a greater than my own, that does not excuse my sins. That doesn't excuse the fact that I have not openly fought the war against racism.

Sure racism exists everywhere, so that means there is a lot of work to do. And there is no time like the present to roll up our sleeves and get to work and not let the excuses get in our way.

My new prayer is this, "Lord, help me combat racism today."


I almost wet myself today during lunch. Not because of anything to do with the tasty Rockin' Chicken Platter I was eating, but because of something I was reading. I was checking out the book news in the USA Today and it talked about the resurgence in fiction this summer. It mentioned John Irving, Terry McMillan, and a bunch of others. But what really got me excited was it said Cormac McCarthy was releasing a book come July.
I have been waiting for this book for almost 6 years.

No Country for Old Men looks to be another classic of McCarthy. Evidently it has also been bought by Paramount Pictures as well.

McCarthy had a previous book, All The Pretty Horses, made into a movie. I thought it was pretty good, but I think that McCarthy's novels on the death of the mythical American West is hard to translate onto the screen.

McCarthy is well known for being a bit of a recluse.

Larry Brown once told me a story that Cormac used to go out to his mailbox everyday and sort through his mail. What he recognized, he would keep. Whatever mail he could not recognize he would throw in an old truck sitting in his driveway. It seems his publishing company was having problems with their accounting. The figured out it had to do with Cormac. So they sent someone down to Eastern Tennessee to see him. Come to find out he had thrown almost a million dollars worth of royalty checks in that old pick up in his drive way.

I am really excited to read this book. I have read all of McCarthy's books. They are deep, dark, violent, and magnetic. I read Child of God, which might be the most disturbing book he has written, in one sitting.

When I go to pick up Jonathan Tropper's new book at B&N, I will make sure to pre-order No Country for Old Men.

Monday, May 16, 2005

A Little Off the Top

It has been almost 4 years since I have sat in a barber's chair.

I am now a do-it-yourself when it comes to getting my hair cut. Almost 3 years using clippers to shave my hair close to the skin and almost the past 1 year shaving my hair with a Mach3.

In a few weeks, I will be going down Oaxaca, Mexico on a mission trip. I was told this past weekend to prepare for anything. One of the things that they asked us all was if any of us have any experience using clippers. I raise my hand and laughed. Sure I have had lots of experience using electric hairclippers, I used to use the a lot back when I had hair. I would cut my roommates hair, using the guards for the clippers, so they wouldn't have to go visit the local barber in town who had gained the nickname Shaky Pete.

And as I slowly, and very surely, started to lose my hair, I would forgo the guards until I finally made my way into shaving my hair (a kind of preemptive air strike on male pattern baldness.)

Well, it looks like I might be cutting hair while down in Oaxaca.

I don't know what exactly I will be doing down in Oaxaca, and probably won't until I get down there.

I might be digging a fish pond. I might be painting the side of a building. I might be holding a kid down while they are getting a tooth pulled. I might even be a barber.

All I know is that I am excited. I can hardly wait.

And if anyone wants to help me practice my barbering skills, just let me know. I can find a chair, and I am sure I can scrounge up some old magazines to read. And I am sure I can talk about this crazy weather we are having.

Good Ol' Fashion Medicine

I was reading this latest issue of Esquire (it is the issue with Ewan McGregor on the cover and Chuck Klosterman's column about turning 33 years old and realizing that he hasn't doe as much as Jesus. He expounds, maybe a bit blasphemously but humorously, and says that Jesus "knew how to mobilize people, he was a classic storyteller, and he (clearly) wasn't afraid to man-up and take one for the team.")

But in this issue there is also a small article about medical cures. In one of the little blurbs it mentions that doctors at UCLA have started trying to find a cure for cancer using HIV. I guess they are using what they call the "guts" of the HIV virus and splicing it with a harmless virus so that it can help doctors treat cancer. Evidently the spliced virus attacks a protein that is very resistant to the current cancer drugs available.

Right now this is only in the experimental stages.

It makes me hopeful about the future.

The human spirit continues to amaze me. Our leading scientists are using something that for the past 20 years has been such a horrible virus and has killed millions of people, and using it to help people, to cure people with cancer. It boggles my mind how someone even came up with the idea. How does one justify to themselves to spend time, money and energy to figuring out how to use HIV to help treat cancer?

Science continues to amaze me. I know it has gotten a bad rap as of late with cloning, spending too much government money on experiments that don't produce, and ethical issues. But the fact of the matter remains, science can better our lives.