“Doc was a dentist whom necessity had made a gambler; a gentleman whom disease had made a frontier vagabond; a philosopher whom life had made a caustic wit; a long, lean, ash-blond fellow nearly dead from consumption, at the same time the most skilful gambler and the nerviest, speediest, deadliest man with a six-gun I ever knew.”

Wyatt Earp (speaking about his friend, Doc Holiday, San Francisco Examiner-1896)

(picture: John Henry “Doc” Holiday, August 1851- November 1887)

“I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion – against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas.”

                                   Johnny Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003)

“The country is in deep trouble. We’ve forgotten that a rich life consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it. We need the courage to question the powers that be, the courage to be impatient with evil and patient with people, the courage to fight for social justice. In many instances we will be stepping out on nothing, and just hoping to land on something. But that’s the struggle. To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never allow despair to have the last word.”

                    Dr. Cornel West (June 2, 1953 - )

Dear Me,

I’m writing to you from the year 2010, when I have reached the totally ridiculous age of sixty-two, in order to give you a piece of advice. It’s simple, really, just five words: stay away from recreational drugs. You’ve got a lot of talent, and you’re going to make lots of people happy with your stories, but- unfortunate but true- you are also a junkie waiting to happen. If you don’t heed this letter and change the future, at least ten good years of your life- from the age thirty to forty- are going to be a kind of dark eclipse where you disappoint a lot of people and fail to enjoy your own success. You will also come close to dying on several occasions. Do yourself a favor and enjoy a brighter, more productive world. Remember that, like love, resistance to temptation makes the heart grow stronger.

Stay Clean

Best Regards,

Stephen King

(Note: Stephen King wrote this letter in June 2010 to his sixteen year old self) 

(Photo: circa 1967)

“So we were constantly on the road, and I was always the new guy in school. The bullies always thought, ‘Here’s this big gangly guy. We gotta take him on.’ You know how kids are. 'We gotta test him.’ I was a shy kid. But a lot of my childhood was spent punching the bullies out. We live in more of a pussy generation now, where everybody’s become used to saying, 'Well, how do we handle it psychologically?’ In those days, you just punched the bully back and duked it out.”

                   Clint Eastwood (as told to Esquire, December 2008)

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”                                                                     Plato (423 BC- 347 BC) 

(pic: 60 year old Jack Lalanne pulling a 1,000 pnd boat while swimming from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Warf in San Francisco)

“Aristocratic gentlemen in Europe, and sometimes in this country, go out with a couple of friends and try to kill each other with swords or revolvers at twenty paces. Why don’t they settle the question with their fists? There would be no loss of life and it would be equally effective in determining who is the better man.”

John L. Sullivan (October 1858 - February 1918)

(note: John Sullivan was a bare knuckle boxer and the first American athlete to earn over 1 million dollars)