- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Family tradition
"I always compare my family to a farming family. My father was in the racing business instead of being a farmer. When I grew up, I started in the racing business instead of milking cows. We used to go to school and play football, baseball, and basketball, and all the boys, when they'd get through, they'd go home — most of them was country boys, and they'd plow fields and milk cows. I went home and worked on race cars. …
"The United States was formed by people who couldn't get along where they were staying. These people were individual people. They didn't like what they were seeing or what was going on, so they came over here to do their own thing. That was 200 or 300 years ago. That's our upbringing and we're still doing it. …
"When my grandson Adam died , I was more than upset. You say, OK, my father done this, I done it, Kyle done it, and then Adam was doing it and he gets killed. … To Adam, it was playing. A 19-year-old kid in a race car, having a big time. He died enjoying what he was doing."
—stock-car racing champion Richard Petty, interviewed by Charles P. Pierce, in the August issue of Esquire

Old, not mellow
"One of the interesting things I've learned about growing old is that I haven't mellowed. On the contrary, I've grown more intolerant. …
"I was thinking just the other day of the Confederate battle flag. People who call that flag a symbol of slavery are just showing their ignorance, and I don't see any reason at all to cater to an ignoramus. …
"If the Southern people, however, have lost the will to honor their ancestors or have become so ignorant and dumb that the past is meaningless, then, by God, they deserve the fate that is in store for them. I personally will shun such folks, because life is too short to spend it in the company of cowards. …
"I am retiring … from the Orlando Sentinel, where I have worked for 30 years. …
"What am I going to do in retirement? I'm going to enjoy the company of the finest people on Earth.
"I'm going to avoid the company of cowards and of those who think the most important things on Earth are the National Basketball Association draft picks and who may win an Academy Award."
—Charley Reese, writing on "Life is too short to spend it in the company of cowards," July 3 in the Orlando Sentinel

Christian media
"Except for music, most Christian media are dreadful by secular standards. Religious television networks typically run nothing but an endless parade of talking heads, which offer the least screen-art possibility. …
"The only recent films made and marketed by Christians for Christians, 'Left Behind: The Movie' (2000) and 'The Omega Code' (1999), have been met by many in the broader entertainment industry with almost a sigh of relief. Until these films, they thought Christians wanted something deep as entertainment, something beautiful, inspirational and uplifting.
"Watching the bizarrely bad 'Omega Code' secure a spot as one of the most profitable independents in 1999 and the ghastly 'Left Behind' rake in $60 million in video sales has strongly impressed Hollywood. Creative executives are responding with a puzzled, 'Oh, well, we can do that.' …
"After three years of working with Christian screenwriters, I have also come to realize that many godly people are just too healthy to be great artists. Their work is shallow because they are guessing about what darkness feels like. Instead of filling them with zeal, their Christianity has left them balanced and boring, without passion and rough edges and with nothing to say. The most provocative screenwriting comes from people who have descended into one hell or another and have the scars to prove it."
—Barbara Nicolosi in "Writing Faith into Film in Hollywood" in the July/August issue of Crisis

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