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Rants and life story

It's always got to be about you, Coates, doesn't it? Well yes it's certainly all about me this time. This is, after all my Web autobiography or memoir depending upon how one views those two flavors of solipsism. I hope that the result will not just be about me but a readable story about the years on the Blue Ball given to me and the players who dominated the scene over those decades from the perspective of one addled and over served mind. I have no universal truths to offer or any lesser advice either. But I have had a wonderful time living through the ups and downs of the kind of life that blurs the ideas of work and play. And I want to share it. There's an old joke among evangelical Christians about the guy who jumped up in the meeting tent and confessed to dozens of adulteries, hundreds of drunken orgies and uncounted thousands of hours wasted in these pursuits. "You ain't confessing, brother Coates" thundered the preacher. "You're bragging." We'll see. So over 40 years of serious journalism, heavy drinking and study what have I learned? I have learned a few poems, I know how to use Photoshop and Excel, I know that I've devoted hundreds if not thousands of hours immersed in books, I've spent several orders of magnitude watching television and frittering my time away with Internet scrums and have downloaded several gigabytes of material ranging from beautiful verse and pictures to obscenities and hateful rantings. I have written 3 books that were published, 1 novel that languishes on the computer, another novel so old it is typed on onionskin paper, 1 partially completed memoir, perhaps a dozen serviceable poems and maybe a million words of newspaper writing and columns. I have relished, and trembled in fear or anger over 2 children whom I love and respect. I have been faithful to and have loved the same woman who has grown into a powerful and brilliant person. I have written a fairly good amount of unsolicited essays, thoughts, rantings, blogs and other literary fits and starts such as this current offering. I did what I did while burdened but also greatly inspired by the rather tumultuous child raising of my own parents, a wife beating drunken father and a bipolar and manic genius mother who taught me huge amounts of actual knowledge and similar amounts of misperception's about paleo-Indian archeology, mineralogy, painting, writing, philosophy, Wyoming history and the collected legends of the Coates and Brennan families dating back to the 1890s and containing some beautifully bizarre characters and events that have added most of the zest that my memoir can hope to offer. I have been twisted and shaped by a career in journalism that put me in front row seats for the great turbulences of my generation from Vietnam and Watergate to Bill Gates and the Internet paradigm shift. I was richly rewarded for my labors in the media vineyard and am now out to pasture (certainly not out to stud) with comfortable but modest financial resources, pretty good health and a positive attitude and dare I say, a modicum of continuing and even growing happiness. At the present juncture I am learning how to draw and paint with serious efforts and am running hot and cold while writing. I find writing mundane and painting exotic because of its newness and the immediate beauty of the results. But, as they say in so many best selling business books, one needs to focus on one's core competency and for me, as far as I have a core competency it is writing nonfiction. I fret that my memoir lacks any of the emotional pathos that the currently popular genre demands but this project that I am doing for public dissemination is also for me and my family (if I dare show it to all of them). It may boil down to a work for an audience of one--the author.Return to Homepage

I came to Chicago from Wyoming in 1967 and worked for the Chicago Tribune for the next 40 years. I was going to go back home to "God's Country" when I retired in 2007. But I found that Wyoming is no longer home. Chicago is home. I plan to stay here at home alongside the big lake until the bitter end. Call me a Chicago Lifer. I devote a part of every day to walking up and down Lincoln Avenue South of Addison. I have worked on drawing and painting for the past 3 years and I am still not good enough to be worth the time of any body looking at it. My memoir, "Famous People Who Have Known Me" is in progress although I still haven't gotten much past high school, which for me was in the 1950s. It looks like it is going to be a long book. I consider it a secular sin to allow any day pass without writing, drawing, photographing or building something out of wood. All this said the most important things in my life include my wife, our 2 children, our 2 grandchildren, my sister, my nieces and nephews, my in-laws and our grandpets. In short I am just an old cowhand from State and Grand making his last stand.Here is this same self-serving information in verse

The Heads and Tails of It All

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