The Jewish Colonels

J. Allen Eskridge III, Kentucky's assistant Secretary of State, made my day at a packed ceremony at RiverPark Performing Arts Center. On behalf of the Governor and the Secretary of State, Eskridge presented Gene Hackman with a scroll commissioning him as a Kentucky Colonel, the state's highest honor, and told the Academy Award winning actor that he would be joining a distinguished list "that includes Winston Churchill,  Muhammad Ali, and Lee Goldberg." I'm sure Gene was very flattered to be in my company.
My friend Bob Levinson also became a Colonel today, and an honorary judge, and got the key to the city. Stuart Kaminsky got all that stuff, too. The Jews are invading Owensboro. Expect a Kosher deli to open on Main Street any day now.

I'm guessing about 500 people lined up to have Gene Hackman sign their books. It must have been a shock to Mary Higgins Clark. For perhaps the first time in decades, her signing line was shorter than another attending author's. If her ego was bruised, she didn't show it. She was elegant, charming and gracious, as usual. I won't tell you how long my line was. Let's just say I was a distant third. Or maybe fourth.

I'm sneaking  out for some more BBQ now before CSI creator Anthony Zuiker screens some clips from his show and answers questions  on the big, out-door stage. I'll try not the stain my shirt.

(A big thank you to Bryan Leazenby of Onsite Images for taking the photo)

6 thoughts on “The Jewish Colonels”

  1. I vote for either Mr. Monk and the Crazy Books-a-million Lady or Mr. Monk and the Heavenly BBQ as the next book title.
    I’m gonna try to get back today and see Mapes for Hire. I was saddened that the bookstore area didn’t have any of your older stuff. I’m really anxious to read Iron-On Badge and My Gun has Bullet.

  2. Congrats, again. Wow. I think Gene Hackman would feel you belonged because you have so much writing talent and who can appreciate a good writer more than a good actor?
    I had no idea the people and government of Kentucky were so gracious. Since this experience has been so enjoyable and successful, is it possible for Mr. Monk to visit Owensboro? “Mr. Monk Becomes a Colonel”?

  3. Colonel Lee,
    It was great meeting you. I’m glad you had such a nice time with your adventures in and around the bluegrass state. Come back again soon.

  4. Hackman looks pretty good in that photo. I haven’t seen him in several years, since his retirement from acting. As a film buff, it kills me that we haven’t seen him in anything lately, but as a fan, I’m glad he’s relaxed, happy and enjoying retirement.


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