I haven't told many stories here of my 2nd stint in college after a short period in Georgia and in the Virgin Islands. I don't really have time to tell the full story today, but I saw something on the national news today that is truly disturbing. When I arrived at West Texas A&M I was the very first scholarship runner since the school had crashed and burned due to a scandal where the president or dean or whatever embezzled millions of dollars. The school shut down all athletics for a while, went from NCAA Div1 down to Div2, and slowly rebuilt.
I was brought in with the hopes from my coach, the late Eric Lathrop, that I'd accomplish two things. First that I'd be a mature presence and help coach the "summer training program" since the coach isn't legally allowed to monitor off season workouts. I did this by basically by buying a house and having my teammates move in with me and then waking everyone up at 6am to run everyday. The folks who didn't live with me we'd run to their house and collect them along with some local Kenyan professional runners.
The second reason I was brought in, which goes with the news story today, was that my earlier college results would help assist the team in getting financial booster donations. Coach took me to all the local races and we talked about how the new team was going to return the school back to nationals, etc. Many of the additional things we did was go to dinner with local millionaires to drum up money. On many occasions that took me to the home of Stanley Marsh.
Marsh was famous around Amarillo for the "Cadillac Ranch". He also was a well known philanthropist who would put street signs, painted over with weird art, in peoples yards and pay them a monthly fee for using their space. He picked poor areas of town in the hopes of beautifying them as well as giving much needed income to those homeowners. Stan was a really weird fellow and often when trying to describe is eccentricity to others 2 stories come to mind. Knowing Stan the way I did, having stayed in his home and spent days working around his property makes today's news quite disturbing. It's like the warning signs were all there all the time and I saw them and dismissed them.
The first story that shows just how odd this guy is started just after a really tiring speed session. Stan and his wife would often come to the end of the road, along with Terry Funk (former WWE wrestler) and his wife and they'd set out glasses of tea and talk to us in between each repeat then cheer us on as we started the next. After practice they'd invite us all (clad in our shorty shorts and often shirtless) back to their house to jump in the pool. On one occasion Stan (who was about as flamboyant as hell....but he was married so we never figured he was either closet or just a bit weird) brought out a box filled with all kinds of spay paint. He told us to pick a color, any color, and go around painting rocks in his yard. He said we could all come to his house anytime, grab the box and spray rocks until our hearts content and that he'd pay us $7.50 an hour. He said this in such a flamboyant and suggestive way it struck us all as odd. That day we all had about an hours worth of fun running around in our shorty shorts painting rocks while him and his wife oohed and aaaahed at just how imaginative we were...WEIRD!!
The second weird Stan story is that one day he came flying into coaches office all excited telling us that we must, we just MUST! go to his house to help him celebrate. No time to change we needed to go NOW!! Being a huge financial supporter of the team coach often did whatever Stan asked so off we went. We all jumped in the car (about 5 of us who happened to be there) and headed over to Stan's where his wife was proudly waiting for us in the front yard with a big bottle of champagne. We all get 2 glasses (because to truly celebrate he said you can never have an empty hand) and he led us into his kitchen. There standing in the kitchen was this huge camel. He regaled us with some story of how he made an awesome business deal with some Arabian and one of the gifts he received in exchange was this lovely camel. He was very proud of it. He had no place else to put it so for a month that camel lived in his yard all day, and occasionally came into the kitchen at night. WEIRD!!!
Although I always thought Stan acted a bit faggoty, and although I thought he was the most eccentric and weird old rich fellow imaginable....I NEVER got the impression he was a pedophile. This mornings news was quite disturbing... I go over all the meetings I ever had with Stan and nothing ever gave me the creeps or had me thinking he was capable of this. Just Stan as a whole was weird. Looking back now it sort of makes sense though, the hanging around dudes in shorty shorts, the invitations to come help around his place, etc. It's horrible and on one hand I can't believe it....and on the other it really seems like I should have seen it.
anyways....here's the news report I found.