Thanks to my friend Baris Ercal for sending to me so my team can get the word out.
has been found by Billy Kimball:
The 11th Earl of Coventry, who has died aged 68, succeeded to the title at the age of six after his father was killed in action in 1940, but found it difficult to live up to the ideals expressed in his family motto, “Candidly and Constantly”.
Bill Coventry had a varied career as a Guards officer, stockbroker, cosmetics salesman, removals hand, fashion designer, oil company president and assistant personnel manager. Three of his four marriages ended in divorce.
In later life he joined the Conservative Party and became a staunch and vocal supporter of the prime minister John Major, whom he regarded as the country’s “greatest leader since Winston Churchill”.
The son of the 10th Earl of Coventry, George William Coventry was born on January 25 1934, at the family’s 18th century seat, Croome Court in Worcestershire, and was given the courtesy title of Viscount Deerhurst. His mother, the former Nesta Donne Philipps, was the elder daughter of Lord Kylsant, former chairman of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company.
The Earls of Coventry are descended from Sir John Coventry, a mercer of the City of London and one of the executors of the celebrated Lord Mayor Sir Richard Whittington. The earldom was created in 1697 for Thomas Coventry, a long-serving Member of Parliament.
In July 1940, the 10th Earl, then serving as a 39-year-old lieutenant with the Worcester Regiment, was killed in action during the German thrust into France, and the young Lord Deerhurst succeeded him as the 11th Earl. In 1949 his mother, the Countess of Coventry, sold Croome Court to a Roman Catholic School and moved into Earls Croome Court, a smaller house nearby – though the family continued to own most of the surrounding 15,000-acre estate.
The Earl was educated at Eton, where he fenced for the school, taking a bronze medal at the Public Schools Fencing championships in 1951. After leaving Eton he enrolled at RMC Sandhurst and was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards, but resigned his commission in 1955.
The same year he married Marie “Mimi” Farquhar-Medart, an American film starlet, noted beauty and daughter of the St Louis hamburger millionaire William Sherman Medart (who had fallen to his death in mysterious circumstances from a Paris hotel window in 1951).
Mimi Medart had created quite a stir a few years earlier when ex-King Farouk took a fancy to her bikini-clad form on the beach at Deauville and deluged her with bunches of gladioli. She would later claim Edward Kennedy, “two high ranking members of the British Labour Party” and “a member of the Soviet trade delegation” among her admirers.
After their marriage in 1955, the Earl and his new Countess settled down together in a flat in Mayfair, becoming well-known habitues of such early morning haunts as Brads and the Crazy E, where the Earl was acclaimed as an expert in The Shake. Their only son, Edward George William Omar, Viscount Deerhurst, was born in 1957. The marriage ended in divorce five years later.
The Earl, meanwhile, was finding it hard to settle to a career. After leaving the Army, he joined a firm of stockbrokers, but he soon decided there was “no future” in it, and left the firm two years later to become a salesman with a cosmetics company.
After his divorce, in November 1963, he took a job as a £12-a-week porter with a Chelsea removals firm; but three weeks later, he was reported to have gone into business as a dress designer: “I have no training for dress designing,” he admitted, “but I know how I like women to look and I shall design instinctively.”
By April the following year, he had become president of a Panamanian-registered oil company, Middle East Oil Royalties: “I was very surprised at the offer of this job,” he said. “It came out of the blue. I don’t know much about this sort of business, but I can assure you I am expected to work jolly hard.”
Three months later, he was fined £50 after pleading guilty to charges under the Prevention of Fraud Act; he and two associates in the company had been discovered dealing in shares and securities without a Board of Trade licence.
Later the same year, the Earl announced he had had his fill of London life and was retreating to the country to become an assistant personnel manager with Heenan and Froude, a Worcester engineering firm. Sadly, this job too came to an end when he was made redundant in 1968.
In 1984 he was named as the chairman of a Peterborough-based building firm which had called in the receivers after customer complaints about shoddy workmanship and long delays.
He had found it no easier to settle in his private life. In 1963 he announced his engagement to Susan Templeton-Knight, a 19-year old drama student; but the engagement was broken off seven months later. His second marriage, in 1969, to Ann Cripps, ended in divorce in 1975.
His third, in 1980, to a former shop assistant, Valerie Birch, ended when she became homesick in Worcestershire and returned to her mother in Stockport. They divorced in 1988.
With his fourth marriage, in 1992, to an old friend, Rachel Wynne, the Earl finally found some stability. In the mid-1990s he joined the Conservative Party, became active in public life and a writer of letters to newspapers. He was an ardent supporter of the prime minister John Major.
After the Scottish referendum result in 1997, he proposed a fighting fund be set up to mount a legal action to remove all Scottish MPs from Westminster, though he later returned sums of money sent directly to him by supportive readers of The Daily Telegraph.
The Earl’s later years were overshadowed by tragedy. In 1997 Viscount Deerhurst, his only son and heir, was found dead in the kitchen of his home in Hawaii, apparently after suffering an epileptic fit.
The Viscount had been the subject of a protracted and bitter custody battle as a teenager in 1972, after his mother had taken him to live with her in California, in defiance of the terms of the divorce settlement.
The Earl had won the case and taken his son back to England. But the Viscount had never made any secret of his desire to leave and, as soon as he was able, he had turned his back on his privileged life and moved to Hawaii to pursue his ambition of becoming a surfer.
He and the Earl had become estranged, but had been reconciled when Lord Deerhurst was chosen to represent Britain for the world amateur surfing championships.
The Earl of Coventry died on June 14 and is survived by his fourth wife.
He is succeeded in the earldom by his kinsman, Lt-Cdr Francis Henry Coventry, a first cousin once removed, who was born in 1912.
A Hobo Day
By Oklahoma Red
Drifting around from town to town
after traveling east for a few days
I crossed the road to restart the adventure
perhaps I had gone the wrong way
it did not seem to matter which way I was going
the fact that I was moving was all that mattered
The sun comes up and invites you to a new day
what is the name of this place do I even want to stay
a stranger approaches and bids good day
doesn’t mean it – just words to say
Have a nice day, you hear it all the time
the sincerity of it doesn’t seem to be there
just hollow words, not from the heart
like a broken record, “have a nice day”
It’s none of your business what kind of a day I have
it is my day and I will have whatever kind of day I want
your worn out cliche has all but ruined my day
when the sun goes down then I’ll know
what kind of day I had.
My good friend Hobo Jack loved that poem. He loved all poetry.
Hobo Jack caught the westbound train late last year. I met him when I went out to Bakersfield a few years ago, for a meeting with a TV recapping company to see if we could partner up in some way. Nothing came of it in the end because that company was bought by a bigger recapping company a few weeks later, and their priorities shifted. But I was out there for two weeks and had a lot of spare time to roam around town. Not surprisingly, it was by the train tracks that I came across Hobo Jack. He was kind enough to let me tag along on a few of his adventures, and I decided to write a script based on my experiences:
This is the opening of the “Life on the Mississippi” CD I just put in:
Life on the Mississippi.
Written by Mark Twain.
Read by Michael Prichard.
Introductory details on title, author, and narrator read by Jeff Case.
Then it switched to a different reader and the book started.
must have been created by someone watching that kind of “commuting” skateboarder. The ones who push themselves on down the actual road in traffic. Is it legal to do those determined little pushes while cars are trying to get around you? It just cannot be. Maybe it’s like 10% legal. Like, legal in the case of a bad emergency. I don’t even think it’s legal to walk along roads IN TRAFFIC. Skateboarding is like that except faster and wobblier.
But the people doing it look so calm. Like they’re just sittin’ on a couch. When really they should look terrified because they’re about to die. I mean, cars kill so many people who have an entire cars-worth of protection around them. Yesterday I saw a calm skateboard commuter do a hand signal, like one of these:
The only group of people who have a higher studied-nonchalance-when-they’re-seconds-from-death quotient are firefighters. Whenever a truck rushes by with its sirens blaring I feel like “oh my god NO, tragedy has befallen man yet again!! Men shall burn alive today.” But then you see the guys in the truck and they give you a little “mornin” wave, so bored.
I’m listening to some Teaching Company lectures (I guess they’re called The Great Courses now, but I don’t like that) called “Major Transitions in Evolution.” The lecturer is a paleontologist named Andrew Martin. This, from about 10 minutes into his first lecture:
“…and mammals later underwent additional evolutionary leaps, from egg-laying to giving live birth, and from hoofed land-dwellers to whales. Primates and humans are also very interesting. There are several important steps involved in their overall transition from tree-dwelling primates to the eventual evolution of humans capable of documenting the fossil record and understanding how it related to evolution, including that of our own lineage.”
I can’t say that this paper will get you the job, but…