Roscoe P. Coltrane …. RIP

April20/ 2015

If you only had a nickel for every waiter and parking attendant in Hollywood who would eagerly trade a kidney to “be Rosco P. Coltrane” !!   The one and only Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane a/k/a James Best died, at 88, several weeks ago in Hickory NC.

It was a really rough week for “sideline eye-candy”.   A nice week for Frau Debbie Yow.   And just another week for addicts of The Great Unpleasantness.

I did not know that “Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane” chose to retire in Hickory.  He joined “Thelma Lou” who retired to Mount Airy and “Aunt Bea” who chose Siler City and, of course, The King hissownself “Sheriff Andy Taylor” who spent his final days around Manteo.

Should North Carolina change its state slogan to “Where beloved Southern character actors chose to spend their final years…..”?

Other than “Albert” who gets a pass on any question involving pop culture including “what is pop culture”; I am assuming that simply the name “Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane” is all you need to remember the character and his endearingly enduring role in Baby Boomer TV History – the bumbling sheriff of Hazzard County forever chasing “The Duke Boys”….. NOT the one-and-dones of Coach K nor the “rich white boys” who play lacrosse.  We’re talking Daisy’s cuzzins Bo and Luke.   “Forever chasing” being from 1979-1985 and in countless reruns in perpetuity.

NOTE:  There is no “e” on Rosco and, yes, the P. stood for Purvis.

Here is James Best’s obituary – LINK – which is quite fascinating and meanders thru some pretty amazing show biz history.

Back when I worked the celebrity golf Pro-Am circuit, character actors a/k/a “didn’t you used to be _______” were the backbone of that rather odd industry.

I recall one star-crossed moment at a Jimmy V in the late 90s…. on the front steps of Prestonwood CC in Cary.   I’m chatting with “Corporal Klinger” and “Jerry Seinfeld’s Dad” when up walks “Mr Belding”.   We were discussing how well The Guiding Light’s Kim Zimmer had aged when it was announced that Joe Piscopo had cancelled because “the V people” would not comp him first class airfare.   The hierarchical pecking order among “used to bees” can get dicey.

Several years later, Kid and I were standing by the first tee at Riviera CC in Pacific Palisades CA when a speck of something flew into her eye.   Before I could get to her, a emily with jackcertifiably strange gentleman came to her aid.   The resulting picture of the two of them meant little to Kid until her chums back home saw the pic and screamed “HOLY COW, that’s Jack Nicholson”.   The other pic of her at Riviera with Sly Stallone forever solidified her own celebrity status.

The most endearing memory of that day came at the reception during which Kid noticed a somewhat overweight man who seemed uncomfortable among the glitterati.   She went over to talk to that shy young actor from a new series called King Of Queens.   Kevin James has since gone on to a nice career as a Mall Cop.

I don’t know much of anything about the very high-risk profession of “making it in show business” but I’m betting 10,000s of “wanna-bees” would give anything to die at 88 in Hickory NC and be remembered in news articles across the country as “Rosco P. Coltrane”….. or Murray Slaughter….. or Les Nessman….. or Chester Good….. or Eddie Haskell….. or Radar O’Reilly….. or Arnold Horshack…. or Uhuru…. or…..

To have the good fortune over one’s career to play one memorable character in one successful series…. in a crazy business where one’s next job is never guraranteed. ….. Oh to “be Rosco P. Coltrane”.

Can you recall a rougher week for Sports’ sideline eye-candy?

647otOASurely even Albert has seen the video of the ESPN blonde going ballistic with the towing company.   It has turned out there was indeed “more to the story” (isn’t there always?) but even the “more” won’t remove the stuck-up diva stigma that Britt McHenry (who??)  has attached to the profession of “sports channel eye-candy”.

Only registered Britt McHenry stalkers knew “which one she was” prior to last week.  Now the other 30-40 ESPN / FoxSports blond sideline eye-candies must now endure “Is THAT the one that went ballistic with the towing company?”   You know that’s going to get old really fast.  Our pal Kristin Balboni (FoxSports’ At The Buzzer) assures me she never parks in a tow-away zone.Erin-Andrews-and-Fox

And if that wasn’t enough….. the Queen Bee of Sports Channel Eye-Candy – Erin Andrews had a really rough week.  Erin’s long-time boyfriend NHL’s LA Kings Jarret Stoll was arrested in Las Vegas on a cocaine and ecstasy possession charge.   OUCH!

Every news story on Stoll’s arrest referred to him as “Erin Andrews’ Boyfriend” telling us something about the notoriety, or lack of, of NHL hockey players circa 2015.

debbie yowMeanwhile in West Raleigh, the powers-that-be at NC State have extended AD Debbie “Frau” Yow’s contract for an additional two years at over $600,000 per.   That puts Madame Yow ahead of Bubba but still considerably behind Duke’s Kevin White.

ADs around NC State have, over the years, had tenuous relationships with the school’s notoriously temperamental fan base.   It is to Frau’s credit that she has been recognized and rewarded.   An AD’s job security hinges on avoiding three game losing streaks in both Men’s Basketball and Football…. and two game losing streaks to “hated rivals”.   With both those entities doing “OK” these days, Frau still has room to improve.   Surely Frau knows that State’s pitchforks & torches crowd is only one embarrassing loss away from storming The Brickyard.  Tuff Bizness!

Speaking of NC State….. Carlos Rodon got the call to “The Show” this week.   Carlos has been fast-tracked to South Chicago.   I haven’t followed the ChiSox since the halcyon days of Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio but will pay some attention now.   No doubt B’rer Kennel will keep us all updated on Carlos’ every pitch.

Another Wake County major-leaguer continues to have issues.  Josh Hamilton is getting divorced on top of his rehab situation.  This isn’t going to end well.

Speaking of area pitchers…. “The Dark Knight” Matt Harvey is off to a fast start for the Mets.   If UNC-alum Harvey can distance himself from “Tommy John”, his future is unlimited with an NYC sports market in a post-Jeter world.

Speaking of UNC…. lets not allow ten days to go by without poking The Great Unpleasantness with a stick.   “That Damn” Dan Kane’s latest didn’t advance the eternal “WHEN & WHAT” debate too far.   I couldn’t make too much of Dan’s report other than some UNC faculty squirrels wish to “move on” and, by them signing a petition saying so, that somehow will cause it to happen.

Today a petition….. next week “a candlelight vigil” ?? ….. The Carolina Way.

A UNC sports notable asked ME (??) last week “BobLee, when will we get the NCAA ruling?”  I contemplated my answer before replying “when Roy utters three coherent sentences in a row” or “when Chancellor Chihuahua dunks” whichever comes first.

I’m going with my “what if” of six months ago….. what if there NEVER is any NCAA ruling?  What if this is permanently mired to Purgatory?   No ruling is going to satisfy anyone anyway.   The TruBlues will whine “we’re being picked on because we are soooo wonderful” and the ABCers will scream “the Fix was in”.

It would be nice to see the Fat Cat War Chest drained dry.   I just find it creepy that a few dozen deep-pocketed bragging rights-obsessed hedge-funders and silverspoons can buy their way out of this mess.   Why don’t “the Fat Cats behind the curtain” sign a public petition IDing themselves?  It’s certainly their $$$ to spend as they choose, but why not step up and be counted?

“Be advised: We, the undersigned, will spend whatever it takes to preserve The Myth of The Carolina Way…. so there! ……

♦ ♦ ♦

“The Triangle Area” has now solidified its reputation as The Epicenter of the Hunting / Fishing / Outdoor Big Box Store Universe.   A gianormous Cabelas opened last week in Garner joining Bass Pro Shops and Gander Mountain as local choices for anyone interested in camo-gear and assorted accoutrema.   You just know this news delights “those people over yonder” on Franklin Street.


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