Eastbound and Really Down


My more recent project undertakings have had my head racing between creating and marketing. I finished writing and publishing a book that had been developing in my head for decades and after finally blowing that load out of my skull, the next step to take was to promote it. This is not an easy task and time marches at a standstill when it comes to getting work recognized or persuading someone to rush out and read your work. Hence a depression developed. One can either hole up in a room with a needle full of smack or take a deep breath and look around to put things in perspective.
So far I have been lucky enough to recognize a sign, as it were, pop up and make me take notice when I have these periods of melancholy. Today my lesson was brought to me from Burt Reynolds. A quick story on the internet told how he is currently going through rough financial times and had to file for bankruptcy. His ex-wife, Loni Anderson, is selling some items he gave her in an effort to raise funds to help him out. When I read this my mind instantly slapped me across the face and made me take notice of the lesson being taught here. Younger people will not get it because time marched on and replaced the super stars of the 70s and 80s with today’s choice performers and media hacks.
Long before Miley Cyrus was even conceived (or her Achy Breaky dad, Billy Ray), the Burt Reynolds saga began as the Florida State running back pounded the gridiron with enough tenacity to earn him a penciled in spot with the then Baltimore Colts. A severe knee injury from playing and more complications from a car wreck ended his football career. From there Reynolds went into acting and started appearing on television westerns and b class movies. Next he became the first man to pose nude in the commercially successful women’s magazine, Cosmopolitan, which rocketed him into stardom as Americas newest sex symbol. He became the number one box office draw for years hopping from cult cop movies to good old boy comedies like Smokey and the Bandit. He didn’t stop there. His constant air time on the Tonight Show and his highly successful television game show, Win Lose or Draw brought him bank from the television studios and the public never seemed to tire of him. This man had it all, did it all and now he sits on the verge of losing it all; an obscure reference that few-if any-of the younger generation recognize. It really is not what you did yesterday, but what you did today that keeps you relevant to so many.
So as an older generation of dusty freaks like me have the ability to revisit the movie Deliverance or read the works of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. or put vinyl on a turntable, time marches on and new fanfare draws around the spectacle of the day. Far be it from me to say how stupid it may be for honing in on the Kardashians of the world, that is for each of us to decide on our own: The lesson reaffirmed within me  upon hearing of Burt Reynolds recent problems is that money and fame are fleeting and it isn’t about making a fortune of money, its about accumulating a wealth of experience. My book has been written and I do hope a number of people read and enjoy it, but if not, I have at least had the experience of writing it and will carry THAT story with me the rest of my life. Bucket lists should be filled with accomplishments, not coffers. Granted if I were to stumble upon a few million tomorrow, I certainly wouldn’t turn it down-I would have a party that put Caligula to shame but all in all, life can be pretty fucking amazing if you just go out there and let it happen. 


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