Sunday, October 7, 2007

Consider... Coolidge

Of all the characters I've met on the internet over the years, the message board character known as "Coolidge" was definitely one of the most interesting, intelligent, and entertaining.

He was a HUGE Tiger fan, but also a huge fan of Bonanza, and he had a glib sense of humor that swam against the tide of cheap laughs that often pass for comedy these days. He was an absolute joy to talk to, and while I never met him or knew him at all outside of message board interaction, you could just tell that he was a character offline as well as on. This was confirmed by the wide variety of people who called him their "real life" friend.

For most of the time I knew Coolidge, he was very sick, though he was very circumspect about what was wrong with him. He passed away late last week. He was 47 years old. His obituary mentioned "Tiger Fans" among those friends who survived him. He was never married, had little remaining family, and lost track of many of his friends when became a Katrina refugee. I know that many members of TigerDroppings attended his wake and/or funeral, including many who'd never met him.

I wanted to get back on TigerDroppings so I could pay my respects to him along with everyone else, but my emails to the administration have gone unanswered. I don't know why, but I don't ascribe it to any kind of personal problem with me. Certainly my online transgressions over at TigerDroppings are much less severe than others' who managed to get back in management's good graces. For whatever reason, my own entreaties have been overlooked.

I almost forgot about this situation until I saw this thread over at TigerDroppings, wondering if Coolidge was watching the game from his current perch. The reminder damn near brought a tear to my eye.

He once said he was looking forward to the opportunity to meet me, but that opportunity never came. I regret that very much. I'm thinking about you, Coolidge, and I know you would have loved to witness last night's game. I regret you left just a little too soon for it.


Christopher Turner said...

I was good friends with Cobe. I know he pissed some of the online community off with his biting sarcasm, but those of us who knew him would have it no other way. We are sick of the tepid bs that all forms of media hand us, of many forms of authority. The man was extremely brilliant,and the mediocrity of the world and humans pained him. Cobe and I met over eating dinner at one of the LSU dorms in 1978. He was taunting me for having no meat on my plate, as I was a vegetarian back then. We were great friends after that. Perhaps to the dismay of his parents, I talked him into hitchhiking together to the Florida Keys at spring break 1980. We had a great time. The travel bug and adventure of the American road stung him then, so a couple times over the next few years he thumbed it out to the west coast, up to the great lakes, and to other spots in America. Cobe was like a psychic magnet for the surreal. We opened our minds with peyote and the like and he was challenging to be around in such cases, he was sensitive to the inexplicable in this strange world. Four of us drove to Big Bend National Park in Texas in spring back in those days. Needless to say, our eyes were opened. We all climbed Emory Peak together. Cobe really liked his bourbon, too much if you ask me, and it eventually killed him. I am sitting right now in a computer lab up in Carbondale Illinois at Southern Illinois University. This is where I learned of his death: on line...I just wrote him a letter about two weeks ago, and was wondering why he had not responded. For all of us who knew him, he will be sorely missed. The man had an extremely unique sense of humor, and was fatalistic about life. He was one of the tens of thousands of New Orleaneans who suffered much from Katrina. His boyhood home in Lakeview was ruined, along with many of his possessions. His lifelong neighbors were dispersed to the winds, familiar anchors of identity gone. The neighborhood church of his was torn down recently, the dioceses merged into another part of town. His old Sunday school teacher died during being rescued, falling from the helicopter to her death. He ended up in Natchez a few months after the storm. That is when his health plummeted. He lost all. I saw him twice over the last year on my way to NOLA to do some carpentry post Katrina. He did not look well. But he was strong in will, and making plans to move to a more rural locale, and do some gardening and the like. I am truly shocked to learn online of his death. I checked TIger Droppings and other sources, trying to track him down, when I came upon news of his death. What a bummer...This is after losing another old friend to murder in NOLA. For those of you elsewhere , you will never understand how hard Katrina has been on the spirited souls of New Orleans. Cobe's story is another sad tale from that event. I will miss you my brother. I hope you learned from your death, and faced it like a man of knowledge, facing the abyss with power.

plucky solar eventually said...

you sinewy psychededelic twits should be strung up by yer balls from the near lamppost, and thank god they keep that peyote safe way out the desert where it belongs, away from you whore mongering college misfits, its a swame i'm not there i'd piss in ye old tankard, me i'll hints at it no more, just turner' over and give er one more for me...