Death, Taxes, and Pappy Van Winkle milkshakes
This week's Tiny Rabbit Holes provide insight into an incredible obituary, Roy Cooper's presidential ambitions, Jay Bilas's coffee intake, and starting your own law firm.
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The man who wrote an instantly legendary obituary
This obituary, for an 84-year-old woman named Renay Corren who spent a chunk of her life in North Carolina, is a work of art. You should read the whole thing in the Fayetteville Observer, but here’s one of many passages which say so much in such a small space:
There will be much mourning in the many glamorous locales she went bankrupt in: McKeesport, PA, Renay's birthplace and where she first fell in love with ham, and atheism; Fayetteville and Kill Devil Hills, NC, where Renay's dreams, credit rating and marriage are all buried; and of course Miami, FL, where Renay's parents, uncles, aunts, and eternal hopes of all Miami Dolphins fans everywhere, are all buried pretty deep. Renay was preceded in death by Don Shula.
I could say more about the obituary, but it really does speak for itself, and again, you should read the whole thing.
The writer is Renay’s son, Andy Corren, a talent agent, manager, and playwright who was born in Fayetteville but now lives in New York City (some of this information came from whorepresents.com which, I’ll be honest, I thought was a dirty site until I realized that it’s a management lookup site named “Who Represents?” Phrasing!) In 2014, he wrote a comedic play about growing up gay and in the closet in North Carolina. One of the characters is Senator No himself: Jesse Helms. “Mr. Corren is obviously enjoying himself so much,” writes a reviewer who saw the play—and Corren in it—at the Asheville Community Theatre. “I haven't heard such smart sparkle and pop in dialogue from a new script in a very long time. Corren also once shared a stage with Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard from Ted Lasso!) in a play which I will not name here, in case there are kids reading.
As a talent agent, Corren had a memorable cameo in a New Yorker article about a protest organized by the United Talent Agency. “This might be the biggest protest in the history of Beverly Hills,” he told the writer. “Think about it. It’s not a hotbed of activism—unless you count, like, ‘Free Zsa Zsa.’”
You can see where his writing style comes from. I’m sorry for his family’s loss, but I’m glad that he was able to help us know his mother so well.
Come to think of it, we’ve never had a president named Roy
We’re in that moment of Joe Biden’s presidency when nobody is officially running for president yet, so we get a lot of daydreaming in the press. Names sort of float in and out of stories like feathers in the breeze. This week, one of those names, according to the New York Times, was Roy Cooper. Ol’ Roy! Here he is, speaking about the importance of re-electing Joe Biden in 2024:
“I fully expect him to seek re-election and I will support him, and in fact we’re going to win North Carolina for him.”
But just three minutes later, Mr. Cooper — the only Democratic governor to twice win a state that former President Donald J. Trump carried on the same ballot — was sketching out what could be the makings of a Cooper for President message to primary voters.
So, is it gonna happen? No! WRAL’s Laura Leslie reports that for one thing, Cooper doesn’t really want to do it. For another, he would have to leave the state to campaign, which would put Republican Lt. Governor Mark Robinson in charge while he’s gone. However! May I refer you to this little moment from 2018, when I was out at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh. I was writing a story about first lady Kristin Cooper’s collection of small ceramic Christmas villages for Our State:
The first lady has been collecting them since the 1980s. “She used to have signs that said ‘Roy for President,’” the aide said. I began to scribble a little harder in my notebook. She saw this. “They were sort of a family joke,” she added.
Folks, if Roy defies the odds and becomes president, I’m going to submit that passage as part of my application to become U.S. Ambassador to The North Pole.
Pappy Van Cook Out
Feast your eyes on this cursed video, from Joe Ovies of Raleigh sports radio fame:
I love Cook Out milkshakes as much as the next man, but Joe, when you pop a $1,000 pour of Pappy into something that’s usually best enjoyed in a styrofoam cup, you can never complain about the way that anything tastes for the rest of your life.
Also, egg nog is a very middle of the road flavor. Don’t trust me, trust cookoutmilkshakereviews.com.
Rabbit Hole at your service
On Monday, I wrote about a very short but very memorable visit by Tony Hawk to North Carolina. I reached out to Tony on Twitter and via email before I wrote it just to try and verify some details, but never heard back. Well, turns out I was fairly accurate!
Tony (we’re on a first name basis now) is also following me on Twitter, so I hope he’s ready for a good dose of dad jokes, North Carolina geography, and griping about the Carolina Panthers.
However! Now that I’m a bona fide investigative caffeine journalist, people are reaching out to me with other coffee-related celebrity tips. And I’m happy to say that I’ve already been able to get results for my readers:
Please update Jay Bilas’s Wikipedia entry to note that he does not drink five cups of coffee per day.
Help this man find his armadillo cookbook
After a recent newsletter about hordes of armadillos that are invading North Carolina, I got this email from reader Doug:
I need help with an Armadillo issue. I gave my secretary, who could not cook, a spoof food photography book, filled with pictures of imaginative recipes. One was titled "Marching Through Georgia." It pictured an Armadillo shell on its back filled with pureed sweet potatoes. Chicken feet were stuck upside down in the sweet potato goo. The book was published likely in the 1990's. The photographers were a well known couple who photographed prepared foods for magazines and other outlets. I'd like to get the names for the book and the photographers.
I have no clue, but if you do, email me.
Folks, somehow we keep winning awards. QC Nerve, the alt-weekly that rose from the ashes of Creative Loafing Charlotte, has named the Rabbit Hole as its “Best State Newsletter” of 2021. I am honored, although the judges did not specify which state, so I’m left to assume that we are Nebraska’s best newsletter.
Also, congrats to QC Nerve for winning an award of its own!
Now, I am just a TINY bit sensitive to a passage in the award writeup that says “It may not be the most profitable niche…” To that, I say, we’ll find out! (BLATANT AD: Support this newsletter here!) You can also support QC Nerve here, which, if you live in Charlotte, you should.
North Carolina Rabbit Hole, Esq.
Lastly, this gives me an excuse to check in once again on Creative Loafing Charlotte, which now describes itself as “the go-to source for all things arts and entertainment in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area of North Carolina, including music, film, visual and performing arts, dining, style, sex and love, as well the region’s most fearless, hard-hitting news stories.” Last year, we took a closer look at one of its articles: “Guide to Fitting Door Stops.” Today, let’s read a story of utmost importance to everyday Charlotteans: “Tips to Know Before Starting A Law Firm”:
If you are thinking about starting your own law firm after you graduate law school, you might feel overwhelmed at everything you have to do.
You know what? You’re right. First up, though, do I need to go to law school before I start a law firm?
Even if you are going to work for yourself, you will likely still need to get some training at school and take the bar exam. That way, you will be legally able to practice in your state.
So true! I scroll Twitter quite a bit, so I thought I already knew everything there was to know about the law, but it turns out I would have to go to law school to actually take something called “the bar exam.” After all, I don’t want to be known as “the illegal lawyer.” That would be bad for business I think.
Anyhow, once I become a lawyer, can I open my own law firm without any forethought?
Starting with a plan is one of the most important things you can do when you are thinking about starting your new business. There is plenty of information online about how to come up with a successful one.
This is a good point. I watched a YouTube video the other day that showed me how to unstick my garbage disposal. I’m sure there’s one that tells me how to start a successful law firm.
Marketing is important since you will not have clients if the law firm does not advertise.
That sounds hard. I mean, I’m a lawyer with my own law firm. People will just come to me, hand me cash, and say “fix all of my problems!” That is how I’ve always pictured the legal system. But marketing? Sounds hard! How can I do it?
For example, you might start a website and social media pages and then ensure it is optimized for search engines.
You mean, the plan for success is to take a website and turn it into a spammy, SEO-thirsty content farm to lure unsuspecting people in? Do you have experience in that area?
Anyway, we here at the Rabbit Hole would never, say, capitalize on SEO by talking about how Tony Hawk sent us a Tony Hawk-written tweet, in which Tony Hawk talked about how a story we wrote about Tony Hawk was accurate about Tony Hawk’s travels across North Carolina. This Tony Hawk, by the way, is skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, and not one of the other people named Tony Hawk who are not skateboarding legends.