Thought of the Day

Jonathan Last calls this NYT obit for Dennis Cole “the saddest thing you’ll read today.”

To think that you can be one minute marrying one of Charlie’s Angels and then a few years later dying alone in Ft. Lauderdale while doing cruise ship acts.

People have taken faster, deeper dives, of course.  But, yes, not the life he’d have imagined in 1978.

Naturally,  I’m reminded of the lyrics of “Every Mother’s Son,” one of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s lesser classics.

Well I’ve been ridin’ a winning horse for a long, long time
Sometimes I wonder is this the end of the line
No one should take advantage of who they are
No man has got it made
If he thinks he does, he’s wrong

Every mother’s son better hear what I say
Every mother’s son will rise and fall someday

I’ve seen it happen so many times, so many times before
Some man got so much money he doesn’t worry no more
Or he’s got such a pretty woman that’ll treat him fine
Well my friend has been a fool
It happens every time


I’m not tryin’ to preach to no one, to no one at all
I’ve seen so many of my good friends just rise to fall
‘Cause they got so much money or a woman so fine
Well my friends have all been fools, it happens every time

FILED UNDER: Obituaries, Popular Culture, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. odograph says:

    I was just the right age to love “Bearcats” (12 or 13). I didn’t connect that show to his later his later role as “husband of.” Still, 69 is a pretty good run. And maybe he had a good time on those cruise ships.

  2. Steve Plunk says:

    Sad? I think not. 69 years old, TV career, hot wife (for a few years), working on cruise ships sounds semi-retired, living in Florida when not on the ship. If that’s sad then what about the poor working stiffs who scrape by on Social Security for a couple of years in a cold house before dying.

  3. Jim G says:

    To paraphrase Ronnie Van Zant, sic transit gloria mundi.

    Cole’s only son was murdered in a robbery. That is sad no matter what your circumstances.

    In a strange six degrees of Bacon twist, Henry Rollins survived that robbery (and wrote about in “Now Watch Him Die”.) I would have been otherwise hard pressed to connect Black Flag to Charlie’s Angels.

  4. Steven Donegal says:

    I don’t see what’s sad about it at all, other than his son being murdered. And a few years between marrying an Angel and dying alone? First, the obit says nothing about dying alone. Second, he married her in 1978–that’s 30 years. Even on my timeline, that’s more than a “few years.” In other words, Last really had nothing to say and so he went for clever. Maybe that’s what’s sad.

  5. Chris says:

    Thanks for sharing that clip. Demonstrating again what a great band LS was in its day!