Showing posts with label Ossie Brown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ossie Brown. Show all posts

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."