Lance Armstrong – Hero. Superstar. Asshole.
The non-cycling community has already moved on to the next celebrity car wreck. I have moved on. Armstrong is a super-human douche, whose achievements in cycling will never be duplicated. Which leads me to today – I’m still wearing the LIVESTRONG bracelet that I put on 7 years ago. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??
My father-in-law, Joseph Kohlnhofer (seen in the black and white photo above) was diagnosed with cancer long ago. Long enough ago in fact, to have been gone for over 6 years now. He was not a cyclist. He was not even an athlete. He was the product of a bygone era: had strong opinions, paid cash for everything (including his homes/cars), took some shrapnel in Korea and blared polka music in his car on the way to work. He was too old to be my Dad (my parents are still relatively young) and too young to be my grandfather. He fit a niche in my life that was empty almost 20 years ago, and we bonded immediately. Over the years we spent countless hours working on projects together, or just futzing around in my yard or his.
After he was diagnosed with cancer, someone he worked with gave him a yellow bracelet, which he wore. I purchased one and wore it too. I am a cyclist, and this was when athletes everywhere were starting to proudly sport their LIVESTRONG bracelets. I never put mine on in support of Lance or LIVESTRONG though. If he had bronzed a dog turd and wore that as a necklace, I’d probably still be wearing poop around my neck.
Thankfully, no one really seems to care about the bracelets anymore, which is fine by me. Mine breaks about every 12 months and I reach into my stash and grab another one.
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