I don’t know what makes Mike Curb tick. He’s been a figure in California politics and music scene since the 70s, he’s been sort of a liberal but more a conservative. A Republican, he served as Lieutenant Governor during Jerry Brown’s first term, and was acting Governor quite a bit in Brown’s absence. He signed Linda Ronstadt to a recording contract. I don’t know if he helped Jerry get a date with her. In 1980 he helped Reagan get elected. He’s worked with the Osmonds. And Lyle Lovett. Hank Williams Jr. Tony Bennett. Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life?” — that was him, too. The Coyote Ugly soundtrack with Leann Rimes ? Yes.
He was also behind many soundtracks with his Mike Curb Congregation charting this spiffy number:
Today, he’s back in the news with his statements over events at Belmont University, a faith-based school he has been donating millions to: Lesbian Coach’s Exit From Belmont U. Has Nashville Talking (NYT). The soccer coach there, Lisa Howe, was forced to resign days after annoucning to her players that she and her partner Wendy Holleman were about to have a baby together. Interestingly, many students at this Baptist institution protested the decision. From the HuffPo: “Her student-athletes were devastated, asked the administration to reinstate her and, when denied, held protests on campus.” I think it’s good for her athletes to take a stand, but not that surprising.
As Assistant Varsity coach at Mills College, we played a number of small religious colleges including Simpson, Bethany and William Jessup. I found them to be formidable opponents: organized, committed and possessing a number of skilled players. We would lose to them all the time; last October Jessup beat Mills 17 – 0. I can easily see teams like these falling in to support their coach and embracing her in her decision to share her news and life style with them.
What really got my attention were the comments of Mike Curb, the deep-pocketed donor:
“It’s time for Belmont to change,” Curb told The Tennessean newspaper. “Belmont has to decide whether they want to be a national, recognized university, particularly with their school of music business, or they want to be a church.”
His position, rebuking the institution he has done so much to create, shows he can’t be painted with a broad brush dipped in red or blue paint. I can’t dismiss him as a dyed-in-the-wool religious righter, or embrace him as a like-thinking colleague.
Getting older, I am starting to see the cycles in life. What was out, eventually becomes in again. Supporters become opponents and can come back as supporters — as long as I remember to leave the door open for them. Mike Curb is a great example, reading his words makes me glad that where he is concerned, I didn’t burn that bridge.
Years have passed and I keep thinking
What a fool I’ve been
I look back into the past and
Think of way back then
I know that I lost everything I thought that I could win
I guess I should have listened to my friends
All the burning bridges that have fallen after me
All the lonely feelings and the burning memories
Everyone I left behind each time I closed the door
Burning bridges lost forevermore