Monday, April 5, 2010

Dolores, and other bears laid bare

Part 3
Spectacled bears, the only bear native to South America and its largest carnivore, are under threat from loss of habitat and from poachers. But Dolores, a spectacled bear who lives at Leipzig Zoo in Germany, had more immediate concerns. In November of 2009, her coat which normally should be thickening up at that time of year in preparation for winter's colder temperatures, began falling out in clumps. Bizarrely, Dolores and all the female Spectacled bears at the zoo have lost their fur completely. Despite the hair loss, some itching and perhaps a bit of self-consciousness, the bears are not showing any ill-effects. — From Metro of London, Nov., 2009

From: Rob Carrigan
To: Carl Rice
Sent: Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004

I consider myself a storyteller anyway. I am working on some stuff that might hit print somewhere. Given that, there is always the possibility that something said to me could see the light of day. I very much enjoy our recent email exchanges, but if you want something off limits, please tell me and I will respect that.
Lynn’s story is a great one on many planes. It is a bit of a painful exploration on my part, but nobody said anything in life has to be easy (note: previous discussion of Intensity drills.) I have no intention of exploiting anyone, but think it is a story worth telling. Hoping to explore some of the themes we have previously discussed as it relates to his life. Hoping to identify the lessons learned. Finally hoping to make some sense of it myself and find some peace in the process. ___Rob

Carl Rice wrote:
If I understand correctly, your purpose, it sounds like a passionate task. Did you read “Beachers”? Each of us has a story and it is a conglomeration of quotes and misquotes that have been dealt to us and by us to posterity. I loved Lynn and stand beside his life and memory with pride. I do however know a pile of weaknesses and inconsistencies that were demonstrated in his life. I choose to regard the great things that he was. I support anything that you do that is honorable and with in reason, factual. You, yourself are a chapter in my emotional book and a most valuable part of the lessons that life has provided me with on my way to becoming a better person. We have a responsibility to teach and honor within the confines our lives. Please share with me more of your intentions.

From: Rob Carrigan
To: Carl Rice
Sent: Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004

I have not read “Beachers,” but will try to locate it and take a look. That is the John Grisham novella about a star player’s struggle to forgive himself and his coach, right? His buddies meet in the bleachers and discuss the “Old Days” and past glory. Just goes to show you, there are no new ideas. From reviews, Coach Eddie Rake is central in that story. Any relationship to Carl Rice?
Lynn was a good man. Like all good people, he was not perfect. He was not really a hero figure, (although to some, maybe?) but an above-average cat. But in his relatively short life, he touched people in profound ways (as noted, we all do). When we showed up in November, mostly it was out of respect for Lynn’s memory and the circular coincidence surrounding a Dolores/Akron playoff match-up. Some of the connections were uncanny and it felt like some strange “juju.” My current leading idea is to try to capture a bit of that energy on paper with the different perspectives. I envision a treatment where a story is told through different characters eyes… It shapes up as a circle of life sketch. Is that too similar to “Bleachers”? Is there a better way?
Can I tell “evil black-hearted coach” stories in order to create a decent villain?
As Mark Thompson would say, “Just funnin’ ya.”
We all know you were trying to teach us honor and that your heart is not really black. The “evil” designation, I suppose, is still open for debate.
— Rob.

Carl Rice wrote:

I had a player come up to me and with tears in eyes tell me he was being encouraged to press assault and battery charges on me because of my coaching. He said he didn’t know what to do. I told him to do whatever he needed to do. My conscience is indeed mine and is of no concern to anyone else. I now tell you, do what you need to do. You guys are dear to me but I am not in charge of what you think or your memories and perceptions. You have my blessings to do what you want.

From: Rob Carrigan
To: Carl Rice
Sent; Friday, Jan. 16, 2004

Yes, and I have been sued in Federal District court for turning in someone who wrote me a bad check. At times, right and wrong gets a little cock-eyed in the short term.
Earlier you said, “I do however know of a pile of weaknesses and inconsistencies that were demonstrated in his life. I choose to regard the great things that he was.”
In my own experience, the Lynn image is mostly positive. Perhaps I didn’t see something I should have. Your acknowledged general perception is good but it has an edge on it. Maybe that is just your way.
My choice of Lynn as central is admittedly mechanical. He has been dead for years. To most of us, he wasn’t particularly controversial, but for me provides a common thread, glue to hold events together, wins and losses and noble fights. The truth be known, this writing, though I hope to dig out and present different perspectives, is mine. It is my view of what happened. You all can write something for your selves.
So where were the holes in his armor? I won’t dwell on it, but I need to know what put the edge in your voice. What were the great things he was? __ Rob.

Carl Rice wrote:
Rob, I knew Lynn from the time I first went to your town. He was the first student I met the first day I arrived in Dolores. He hung around me like a bee hangs around sugar water. He would do anything I asked of him, it was like he was thirsty for someone to approve of him and recognize his value. Lynn was a fragile person who put on a marvelous show, his talent was he was cool under pressure and that he was the most stoic youngster I have ever met. Few knew what he disliked and even fewer knew what he loved and valued. The edge that I have is not for the personality I loved. I don’t want anything to cheapen his memory. I don’t know what the perception of Lynn and my relationship was but I know what it was to me. We talked more than his parents did. Through college, we sent letters to each other and following college he came to live with me in Akron. He became closer than an old player. He was like a son. I was proud of him. His flaws, like all of ours are best left to the wind.


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