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Bones Coon

July 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Bones CoonHis real name was Burton. He passed away a year before I was born and I feel a bond with him that stirs my soul with warmth. My father, Robert Coon, a true gentleman and artist, sent me an essay that I believe I sent with my college application to many schools based on female to male ratio. Here is that essay, unedited.

In 1973 my grandfather had a massive heart attack doing something that interested him the most…watching the ’73 World Series on television. Seven months later I was born. He was born on December 7, 1990. I never had the privilege to meet him or enjoy his knowledge of first, about what life was like back in the ’20’s…if there was more violence or racial incidents or diseases that killed thousands during that time period. I would ask him which was his greatest thrill…playing with the greatest baseball hero ever, Babe Ruth, or being signed with the Oakland Oaks. He played for a brief time with that professional team until a back injury forced this railroad clerk to call it quits for his professional baseball career. Burton “Bones” Coon even had his own day in his small home town (population 2500) of Dunsmuir, California when the city honored him with a “Bones Coon Day“. In high school, Bones was also a skilled basketball player. I am too. I would really enjoy a one on one game with the man. He was so dedicated to sports. After every working day, he returned home, changed his clothes, and walked two miles to either coach or play baseball. After his retirement from the railroad, he did one more thing to keep him happy. He fished until he caught enough for the town. My Grandfather whom I never met, I’m sure, would be proud of me. I’m playing baseball this year in high school just to see if the man’s genes or dreams left his soul and ventured into mine.

I have no idea where that last line came from. I didn’t play baseball in high school. I sucked at baseball, when I was 10 or 11 I played on a championship little league team and I didn’t get a single hit the entire season. I either struck out, walked or my portly ass got thrown out at first. No one coached me to watch the ball…I closed my eyes and swung as hard as I could. It was so embarrassing.

I only got into one school and that school was UNCG. As you can tell my editing skills lacked, the third line in I write, “He was born December 7, 1990.” He was born in 1900. No wonder I didn’t get in to any other schools. I was a hi-C student and no extra curricular activities to show to the college administrators. I did work an average of 25 hours a week since I was 16 and gave my parents money to help out. That wasn’t just during the summer time too. It really did help me in the long run but I look back and wish I could’ve tried out for the basketball team and try one more time with at football. I don’t regret anything that happened, but I do wish I could’ve met Bones. I know that day will come, but when I get to meet him I want him to look at me the way I look at him, and for him to marvel about my life…I got time and I can wait.

Tags: Personal

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Ajit // Jul 25, 2008 at 1:15 pm


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