[Marxism] Kris Kristofferson

lshan at bcn.net lshan at bcn.net
Sun Feb 8 16:55:09 MST 2004

I've read several articles on Kris Kristofferson, but this one is the best
and most comprehensive. He is not however 6'3"--closer to 6' unless you
include the cowboy boots. We were both at Pomona College together--a year
apart although we are the same age. His roommate, Colin Herman, and I ran
track together. He became a Rhodes scholar for his academics, his
athleticism and, mostly importantly, as the winner of two awards from
Atlantic Monthly for his writing.

At Pomona he was the sports editor of the college newspaper. He was in the
"jock" fraternity, played football, and was one of the initiators of
Pomona's rugby team. (I loved the recent description of American football by
a Britisher as "rugby for sissies.")

Despite some of the "good ol' boy" impression that you may get from this
essay and others, he has never been laid back. At Pomona, his intensity was
already a minor legend. Once when he got a poor grade on a paper, probably a
"C" in the days when Cs were normal, he didn't hide it but stuck it up above
his desk. At the required Ft. Lewis 6-week summer ROTC camp between junior
and senior year, he was voted outstanding cadet, mostly due to his perfect
score in the grueling physical test. And in his senior year at college, he
took up boxing again, even though he was reputed to have a "glass chin,"
running the potential danger of long-term damage.

I didn't have any personal connection with him and aside from the above
connection we were not in the same crowd. Once in New York City on MacDougal
Street in 1970 or 1971, we recognized each other. He was just beginning his
climb to fame. We exchanged a few words. When I told him that I was an
active socialist, he remarked lightly, "Oh, a commie bastard, huh?"

from Brian Shannon

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