Thursday, August 28, 2008

The life of Ossie

Ossie Brown is dead.

Baton Rouge, you now may resume watching Monty Python's Life of Brian.

Brown -- a legendary defense attorney who launched a second career as East Baton Rouge Parish district attorney and religious police -- wasn't particularly noted for bold and stunning prosecutions of public wrongdoing. Actually, he was pretty good in finding reasons not to prosecute a long line of grafters and influence peddlers in Louisiana's state capital.

NO, WHAT Ossie Brown is remembered for is twofold -- being a fixture on Channel 33 as co-host of the annual Jerry Lewis telethon and for getting Life of Brian banned in Baton Rouge. Not that he legally could ban a movie under our constitutional form of government.

But we are talking about Louisiana. And when a movie theater is strong armed by a district attorney, it has been strong armed well and good.

I remember only one Baton Rouge showing of the film in the late summer and fall of 1979 . . . in the Cotillion Ballroom of the LSU Union. It was sold out, and I didn't get to the box office soon enough.

Ah, to be young and rebellious once again. . . .

SO, ALL THESE years later, I hope God rests Ossie's Southern Baptist soul. But I also hope, when he reaches the Pearly Gates, Ossie finds St. Peter -- who I'm sure he'll be chagrined to learn was the first pope -- whistling "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

1 comment:

T. Wong said...

He also caused a lot of hassles at concerts. To this day, I think concert promoters avoid Baton Rouge in favor of the Cajundome or the Gulf Coast Coliseum.