Friday, March 18, 2016

Kevin Coffey

One of my Best Friends is Mr. Kevin Coffey.

He was my producer at CBS and we went on many adventures together.

Just recently he and his lovely wife, Ronnie, stopped by on their way back from the Keys for dinner and wonderful conversation. My house was rocking from two old friends telling old war stories.

It was a blast.

Kev and I go way back, 1987 to be exact. The powers that be put us together and like Forrest Gump said about Bubba, it was like peanut butter and jelly. We saw the country, heck the world, side by side.

One time we were at Universal in Orlando and had to meet with the stunt coordinators for the Indiana Jones Exhibit. We were going to do a segment on the air with it the next day. You remember the scene in the movie where Indy runs, fast, from a rolling boulder that was going to crush him. Well, they had that same setup except for one thing--there was an opening that the audience couldn't see that dropped a person onto an air mattress as the boulder roared by. The crowd oohed and ahhed when the stuntman disappeared. It looked to them like he had been flattened. He then shows up, no worse for wear and the audience goes wild. No problem, right?


Turns out the stunt guys were kind of a pain. I told them I did stuff like this all the time and it should be no problem. Well they begged to differ, and I thought not in a nice way, and they said if they weren't satisfied they wouldn't allow it to happen. I had been up since four in the morning and it was currently seven in the evening. To say I was worn out was an understatement and to say my patience was long gone was an understatement as well. As they droned on about how tough it would be I finally said, "You're right. I can't do it," got up and left.

They watched me leave.

Kevin told me later that they said, "Is he coming back?"


Kevin had to scramble hard to find something else to shoot for the next morning. If you said it wasn't the Indiana Jones Exhibit, you would be correct.

Man, we laughed hard at something that wasn't so funny then but is now.
Denise and Ronnie

That was just one of the stories we told.

His wife Ronnie is special.

She is an author, a lecturer and a teacher. She's also a great mother.

A tale I've told so much Ronnies' lips move as I tell it,  I told again. We were at Vero Beach, covering the Dodger's spring training. Their daughters, Veronica and Juliet, are grown now but were little shavers then and they were on this trip. It was before I became a dad and watching Ronnie with them was a big reason I wanted to be one.

We were out on the balcony of a Holiday Inn, eating pizza, overlooking the water. She was patiently explaining to them how the moon controlled the tides. I found it fascinating and oh, so loving. Watching the girls looking up at their mom and taking all that in was just priceless. It's something I've never forgotten.

Well suffice to say a good time was had by all.

Especially by me.

There are a zillion people you meet in life, there are a few that make you stop.

Kevin made me stop.

One last thing. My middle name is Kevin.

How about that...

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Things I Think About

My kids watch a cartoon named Clarence and on it he asked what I thought was a great question.
The Clarence kids were watching television on the show and they were watching a scary movie about aliens. Clarence said, "I wonder if aliens watch shows about us?"

There was a time in my life that Oreos didn't matter. It was homemade chocolate chip cookies for me. Then one day I discovered Oreos and it's a different ballgame. Double Stuff. I'm in trouble, people.

If you look at the lights on white cars they sometimes look like the helmets of the Storm Troopers from Star Wars.

Big artists and big bands have a time when every song is huge and it's like they can do no wrong. Then one day it seems like the golden touch leaves, walks out the door. Everything they do after that is just...okay. Why is that?

It used to be a bunch of great movies to see and a lot of mediocre TV to watch. Now it's flipped and there are a bunch of bad movies and alot of great TV. Too much great TV actually.

Went to see our soccer team play and at the stadium a beer was eight dollars. Say that slowly.

Did you know they don't sell gum at the Orlando Airport? True. I guess they figure with the onslaught of kids visiting the attractions (Disney World, Universal, Sea World, Legoland, et al) the place would be awash in chewed gum. So they don't sell it.

McDonald's seemed like such a great idea when I was younger and now? Not so much.

How many times on Facebook have you been sucked in by the words, 'You won't believe what happened next'? But, I'll say this, Facebook is a great way to reconnect with someone you haven't seen in twenty, thirty, forty, years.

The first time I wore contacts I thought they were great. To look up at the rain and not have your glasses spot up. In winter, to go from the cold outside to the heated inside and not have lenses fog up. I thought that was so cool. But as I get older and contacts get to be more of a pain for me, glasses are back on the preferred list.

I live in a neighborhood where everyone waves at each other as they go by in their cars. I like that.

Here's a joke that one of my twelve year old twins, Miles, told me. A guy turns to a woman and says, "Can I have a cheeseburger?" The woman, mortified, says, "This is a library!" He whispers, "Can I have a cheeseburger?"

You gotta really love someone to pick up their poop.  I'm more than happy to do just that when I take my Lola on a walk.  That's love.

Those are also some things I think about.

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Sometimes Nothing Is A Cool Hand

I sat down in front of my computer today, put my fingers on the keyboard, prepared to write, and could think of... nothing.

Kinda scary. But true.

Sometimes the process is easy and sometimes it's not.

Do you believe in divine intervention? There are times it's as if the clouds open up, a ray of light shines through, and here comes an idea.  I believe in that concept and while it doesn't work all the time, it works enough times for me.

But not today.

Ever see the movie Cool Hand Luke? It's been in the news lately with the passing of George Kennedy. Luke is played by Mr. Great Eyes, Mr. Handsome, Mr. Icon, Paul Newman. The movie begins with Luke, drunk, removing the tops of parking meters so he can ostensibly get the change, the cash, from them. The cops disagree with that and the next thing you know he's in the pen and the movie really begins.

It tells a great story and also explains how he got the moniker Cool Hand. Turns out in the movie he's playing cards, poker, and bluffs even though he has nothing in his hand. Everyone folds, he wins, and Paul says the now famous line, "Sometimes nothing is a cool hand."

Great movie quote.

Since we're talking, I told my dad that sometimes writing stories are tough and sometimes they flow out like you're pouring water from a glass.

Ask musicians.

There are songs, famous songs, that were written in 15 minutes while at the dentist's office. And there are other, just as famous songs, that took years to write. You'd think that great songs took forever and not so great songs did not.

Not always the case.

Writing can be a lonely business. Just you and your computer. Oh, you can walk past the computer, glance over at it, but unless you sit down and put in the effort? There is no painting of the picture.

Back to the fact I got nothing.  I keep trying, real hard, and I keep coming up with a big, wind sweeping across the plains, kind of nothing.


Let's raise a glass to it 'cause sometimes you have to laugh and remember the phrase.

Sometimes nothing is a cool hand.

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