Coulter: (n) a surname
I have made it a practice to never insert someone’s real name into one of my essays or articles. Whatever that person and I chose to do in our adult moments of living shouldn’t be regaled for all the world to read. At least I owe them that.
But I could not help myself when I rolled across the name Coulter, and realized that a very dear friend by that name once strolled into my life and took me from a status of nearly homeless to a position in which my music and art was given the chance to be considered as viable.
Coulter was my friend. He was part of a music group I joined, and in no time at all they had me singing his vocal parts. Rather than being angry or jealous, Coulter was appreciative and supportive.
He tried many things. Coulter’s problem was that he was good at everything he attempted.
For instance, he started working at a doughnut shop and within two months, they made him manager. (I benefited from that experience, because my wife and I were without an actual place to sleep at night, nor regular food.) Coulter always provided a big box of day-old doughnuts, which he set outside the back door of the establishment with his blessing)
He always believed that underneath my neediness—and sometimes grubbiness—there was someone worthy to be heard. Eventually, because of his love of the entertainment business, he started his own agency to book acts. Completely in line with his employment history, in no time at all he had a stable of artists and was scheduling them into everything from conventions to churches to county fairs.
He helped our fledgling group along, throwing us work every now and then, and when I wrote my first musical theater piece, he became so excited that he found ten investors, who gave a thousand dollars each to fund the effort.
He not only helped me put together the cast for the production, but also got on the phone and scheduled dates in twenty-five cities around the country, so we could go and perform it.
He was so enthralled with the music from the play that he wanted to promote to large publishing concerns. All he needed from me were lead sheets and chord charts. Unfortunately, my technical knowledge of music was limited, and I ended up handing him materials which were pitiful and comical at the same time.
But he never held it against me. He never became enraged or upset about anything.
Even when we were in the midst of promoting our musical play, and a minister who believed he possessed both the knowledge of God’s will and the right to judge others who didn’t understand, attacked Coulter because he heard rumors that my friend was a homosexual (that’s back when they were homosexuals instead of gay) Coulter refused to retaliate.
Even though I was a stupid kid with a gnat’s worth of sense, I defended him and stood up against the Pharisee. It’s one of the better things I ever did in my life.
I don’t know where Coulter is today—or even if he is today.
But wherever he may be, I want him to know that his good buddy turned out okay—due in large part to a friend who arrived in the early days with a box of doughnut—just at the right time.