Thursday, August 24, 2006

Raising Cole Goes Big Screen

With the news that "Raising Cole" will become a big-budget motion picture, we dig into the Daddy D archives for a book review from July, 2004.

Marc Pittman has a tragic story to tell, and he gives us a glimpse into his soul in his book, Raising Cole. Pittman, a man of enormous physical stature, is carrying around burdens that might emotionally break the strongest people you’ve ever encountered. The book’s title refers to his efforts to mold the mind and body of his older son, who died in a car accident at 21.
Pittman’s effort is autobiographical, but his intention is to be instructive. His sons Cole and Chase were high school football players at Evangel Christian Academy, the highest-profile program in the state. The Pittmans were easy to notice, but not just because the boys were arguably the best football players in a program which routinely produces major college caliber talent. The nature of the father-son relationship was remarkable. A giant man and his ever-growing son were physically demonstrative. Pittman writes with obvious pride about the fact that his son, even as a football player at the University of Texas, would still kiss his father on the lips. This circumstance makes some people uncomfortable, and Pittman acknowledges that in conversation today. In his book, he remembers a time when Cole noticed that no other boys seemed to be kissing their fathers on the mouth, When asked about it, Pittman told his son that he guessed the other little boys didn’t love their daddies as much as he does.
Pittman asserts that so many people admired and asked about his relationship with his son that he felt compelled to share their story. After Cole died, he assessed the relationship with the younger son. He started writing Raising Cole in longhand. It’s an unconventional way to start a book, but then little about the Pittman family is conventional.
Cole Pittman came home to visit his family and friends in February of 2001. He was due back in Austin for the start of spring football practice. On the Sunday before he was to return, he made the decision to spend one more night in Shreveport. He got up Monday morning to drive back to school. Near Livingston, Texas he apparently fell asleep at the wheel. His SUV jumped a guardrail, landed in a ditch, and the young man died.
It is impossible to imagine the pain Marc Pittman endures. His son, away at college, called home every night at 9:30. Often he would call home several times during the course of the day to tell his father he loved him. Pittman’s love will never die and he’s still devoted to his son. There are no more nightly phone calls, but there are frequent visits to his son’s grave just to express his love.
Marc Pittman pushed his sons to succeed in football, in relationships and in life. He has pointed to what he believes to be his own shortcomings and tries to learn from then and teach with them. Some people around him think he has created a model for father-son relationships. He believes that, from his son’s death, a new kind of life has emerged.
This real-life local story has become a quick and fascinating read. It offers glimpses into the remarkable psyche of a “man’s man” who longs for affection and lavishes it on his children. The reader navigates an emotional minefield of devotion and despair, anger and angst. Ultimately, Raising Cole raises questions about men forming relationships. Is Marc Pittman’s formula something to emulate? Try Raising Cole for yourself and decide.

Sphere: Related Content


Anonymous said...

Holy cow, that's frightening. Who in the world read that book and thought it would make a good movie?

Anonymous said...

Wow, so did you not like the book or you just not have a soul?