I recently partook in an email “conversation” with Jim Bollenbacher, the author of The Signers: The Adventures of the Cushman Family,” an intriguing work of historical fiction. What follows is a slightly-edited version of that discussion. It’s a longer article than my typical posts, but I think you will find it enjoyable and enlightening, especially if you are, like me, a fan of historical fiction and a fan of Jim Bollenbacher.
I and anyone else who bought into that simpleminded characterization of the man as an airheaded doofus could not have been further from knowing the truth of the man. Which is that Matthew McConaughey is a highly-educated, well-read, deep-thinking, soulful philosopher for the everyman. This much more accurate portrait of the man is made abundantly clear in Greenlights.
On the micro level, “The Curious Incident,” like Christopher, asks us to reconsider our attitudes toward folks with clinically-diagnosed special needs. On the macro level, it wants us to reconsider the many ways we needlessly seek to label and to build divisive walls between ourselves based on other identifiers as well, including race, ethnicity, political party, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
I will be forever indebted to Coach Legando for the lessons I learned from him first hand as will be the literally thousands of students and athletes who have had the privilege of being in his charge. Through the reading of To Lead a Good Life, that opportunity is now available to everyone.