In his autobiographical novel “Judge Z : irretrievably broken” Judge Tim Philpot describes in detail and with surprising disdain, the funeral of RJ Corman. See if you can spot the similarities between the “fictional” account from the book below and the newspaper description of the same funeral is here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/obituaries/article44441058.html#storylink=cpy
“A celebration for the life of Henry ‘Hank’ Clay Alexander,” the fancy bulletin said.
Three days ago, Hank was the richest man in Scott County. The governor of Kentucky sat in the front row at his funeral. Even the UK basketball coach was present.
Hank’s long battle with cancer was over. Judge Z was in the third row because Hank was his cousin. Hank’s mom was Beulah’s older sister.
The service was conducted in Hank’s private airplane hangar at the Scott County Airport, big enough to house his three jets. He made his money in the coal and timber business. He came from nothing, never graduated high school and proved that education was overrated—that you can be successful with hard work and a little bit of luck. He believed that paying all your taxes was for fools.
Hank had loved his Aunt Beulah. He just didn’t agree with her about a whole lot. He didn’t really take women seriously. Whatever wisdom she passed along over Sunday fried chicken was forgotten by Hank no later than Monday morning. Like a lot of men, Hank missed the point of Proverbs that portrayed wisdom as female, such as, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver.”
The funeral opened with “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, played through a surprisingly cheap sound system. Judge Z wondered if he was supposed to picture Hank and “Old Blue Eyes” together in the Members Only section of heaven. Instead, as he listened to the lyrics and the strings, he thought that “My Way” was an awfully lonely and empty road to take.
After Sinatra’s crackly song came to an end, an opening prayer thanked the good Lord for all the good work done by Hank. Then a business buddy talked for five minutes about how smart Hank was. And a young girl, probably a friend’s granddaughter, sang “Life is Like an Old Coal Truck.”
Really? thought the judge.
The “dearly departed” had lots of mourners. He had been married three times, all ending in divorce. He had no children by his wives, but had a couple by other ladies. One of those sons, who would have been mocked as a “bastard” in the bad old days but was now a trust-fund millionaire, stood and said a few kind words about his dad.
“He taught us to work hard,” he said—causing a few raised eyebrows because nobody could remember this twenty-something kid ever working a day in his life.
Judge Z could read between the lines. The kid didn’t like Hank. Not really. He didn’t like the way his mom had been treated and the way his father was never there.
The funeral ended with a short sermon by the pastor of a Scott County mini-megachurch. Hank was never seen there on Sundays, but he had donated two-million dollars to build a gym “for the kids,” just in case St. Peter asked, “What have you done for me lately?” at the Pearly Gates.