The 4th Quarter – It Ain’t the Whiskey

// December 31st, 2013 // Column, News, News From Larry

Funny how the 4th quarter can be the end in so many ways…..the last piece of pie, the last quarter in a basketball game, and the last three months165746_499040843449_354728763449_6319842_4653902_n of the calendar year with three major holidays over three consecutive months.  Halloween is the wake up call of the 4th quarter, and Thanksgiving is the alarm and then comes Christmas, just before New Years.  Some people habitually refer to the 4th quarter with a downbeat mannerism or tone in their voice.  The financial pressures of the infamous 4th quarter are off the charts and some people submit to such agony and the reality of their very own choices.  Others whimper in childlike grunts and shrieks that may cause a head jerk and a smiling stare as we gaze at this revelation or paradox of a 70 year old man giggling like he was 4 years old.  Reverie at its best as I  indulge in music like the great album by Lionel Ritchie (Tuskegee) and all of the country stars including Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Shania Twain, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town and others.

However, as Thanksgiving ends, and the tempo quickens, and the malls increase in  the density of ants running around purchasing stuff, and the streets are often heated with road rage, emotion, and self-indulgence begins to crescendo,  there is a unique transition that happens a day or two just before Christmas with most of us.  For some, it is an introspective time and it begins to reflect in the furrows of left over seedlings that have not, or will not sprout. We all miss our family members who have passed on and feel a certain loneliness which is often denied as kinetic energy sweeps by in this life cycle.  Yet this is the small increment of dimensional time that taunts one’s deepest sensitivities, beneath most membranes where moisture may erupt.   Merry Christmas to Sharon Kay Wilcox, Randy Wilcox, John C. Wilcox and Marion G. Wilcox and Andy-I miss you.  Since Derek and Heidi could not attend this year, we dearly missed you also!  And with some people during these holidays, there is the fear of facing the long awaited denial of the last Christmas, as they have a loved one facing the choices of the “end” or life on earth and or in this dimension.

All of a sudden the gates do not look like pearly gates!  Perhaps we yearn for one more chance, one more dance, one more kiss, one more time.  (Gary Allan song).  And for most of us, it is a time of exciting fervor, when one begins to feel and understand how much we love our families and temporarily appreciate their “unique” individuality.  Ohhhh, the comedy I could write about myself and my immediate family and the in-laws.  Age and youth, all clothed in Christmas colored clothing, with words, mannerisms, etiquette, and habits of naked aliens.  Then add champagne to those aliens’ idiosyncrasies, and you often have pure entertainment and a discordant symphony with crying and laughter all mixed together as counterpoint.   I mean…..from old age people with drooling lips and strollers to the saggy pants of the novel brain sharing passionate ignorance,  called youth……the exhorts that come out of all those orifices……OMG!  Please do not break out the Hennessy or Hemingways Whiskey or steamed cabbage for God’s sake with this kind of generational diversity  As Lady Antebellum says…..don’t want to walk down the Street of Shame!  Whoooooeeeee!

At the Wilcox home it was a beautiful Christmas in many ways.  My wife, Marlene, affectionately known as Mar Mar, just whips together the most fantastic Christmas dinner with so many dishes it is amazing, not unlike the Olympian she is in all she does.  Her beautiful sister, Jeanee’ brought over a beautiful roast the day before so Mar Mar baked that to perfection and made the best creamy spicy horseradish with scalloped potatoes and a very unique organic bean dish.  We also had our new wood chip barbeque (Traeger) fired up and the Hickory and Cherry chips aroma beckoning our taste buds and waiting for us to smoke, well…… something.  My son Ryan and I felt all dressed up with the best barbeque money could buy and nowhere to go….nothing to cook or smoke.  I was thinking…heck, cut up a potato or a tomato or something and let’s try this puppy out.  Judy had sent us a honey baked ham that the UPS forgot to deliver, so I ran off to the grocery store and got some chicken and ham.  After a glass of a gifted Pinot Noir, Ryan and I decided to smoke the ham so we had the smoker really smoking!  Not sure how the neighbors liked the celebrity smoking all day…..but hey it is Christmas.  So we served the smoked ham with the cherry pie filling and the roast with horseradish, lots of fresh vegetables, potatoes and homemade muffins with all kinds of desserts.  It was a feast and lots of people brought dishes for 12 people resulting in a memorable time.

I always have to say the prayer over this blessed meal, and I try to include a special something for each person at the table, but my wife reminded me that it can become a novel so can I please do a short prayer this time.  I felt like I might hurt someone’s feelings so I just rambled anyway for a few minutes to express our love and gratitude.  Just a short novel.  Hey, don’t back up, don’t back down, full throttle, wide open, the only way I know. (Thanks Jason Aldean)  So rude to interrupt a prayer-so man do you  ever have CONTROL and Power during prayer time and “most” heads bowed.  However, for me it is funny, every time there is a serious prayer in church, I just have this crazy urge to jump up and scream some passionate, evangelical rhetoric and then stare at the crowd like all is cool as I just returned from the Water Tower with wise insights!  It is not meant as disrespect but just corny entertainment in my conscious.  May you forgive my incorrigible truant mentality?  Like Tom Sawyer, I Just had this urge to blurt that out but what would be worse, is to hear my echo and to turn and see my funny red headed offspring, Wendy, duplicate it on the other side of the church as a wayward disciple.  Please no….don’t go that far!  Ohhh, the stream of consciousness is fun to share, or…..perhaps not.  And yes, I often wonder about the un-irrigated soil of my soul and whether I should allow sun light to define the species of a weed or a flower therein.

After dinner we all gather at the Christmas tree and share gifts with each other.  These are personal times and a way of saying thank you, I love you, and may I please be a memory someday for you, a vestige of loving smiles.  Thank you for sharing your life with me and at times our joyous and tragic human narrative.  The humility and gratitude of faith, hope and love as HE said.  Simple and right on target, isn’t it.  In these gift exchanging moments you often see the human character transition and it is a fascinating time that warrants sensitive discernment.  Seeing Chad with his technology stuff and his Dr. Dre headphones he would wear on his 7:30am sojourn to Palm Springs Basketball Tournament the next day was a joy.  We call him Swaggy C so at least now he has the 6’4” swag with matching headphones and shoes.  The power trappings of youth with a compass needle pointed at the capital I, for indulgence,  continues decade upon decade.  But to be trite….it’s all good.  Chill dude!

Sometimes a gift comes from a member who has been aloof, for 10-20 years and all of a sudden gives you a very sensitive gift that is a subtle reckoning and or a furtive glance.  It is this moment in life that displays the spectacular words in full color, “patience and faith” as the soul evolves and becomes well posted as they say.  Receiving such a gift reflects so deeply in the discrete and subtle gratitude of a smile, a nod, and a loving eye.  That’s all……but all know!    Who said you cannot see the SPIRIT that has become veiled with timeless decades of survival?  Yes, Spirit does supersede!   The gestures of gift giving and the innuendo are the crescendo in the 4th movement of a wonderful but subtle symphony and what a joy to sit in this dimension as a quiet appreciative spectator.   It is often during this time I think of all the “gifts” and support I have received these past few years from so many friends.  These so called “gifts” each have a special story that one day will be shared.  Reciprocity is looming and my excitement for such is growing.  Thank you all!  Then on to the next rung on the ladder of life where joy and love have a great dance…..and hopefully this happens before you are in the 4th quarter of your life with SOMEONE.  A family is such a gift indeed.

I also have a special place in my heart for the people who just cannot experience Christmas and I wish I could give them all sustainable presents in spirit or food.   This year in Victorville with my loyal friend and master philanthropist, Tom Schibush, we did the Chips for Kids event.  Robert Pine and Paul Linke were there also and I love and respect them so very much.  We had a nice evening and we were able to collect and give out over 6000 Christmas gifts to kids this year.  Thanks to the Girl Scouts, the CHP, and especially TOM for contributing to these young sparkling eyes hoping for a Christmas and a better world.  Once we remove hope from their thinking process we have destroyed a human.  I wish I could just hug them all and say come on……Come Over, Come Over, Come Over (Kenny Chesney).    Yes the world can be so cold…..and we really do have to think of each other and their perspective instead of our defensive habit or rationales.    As the song lyrics state, many times, I would much rather go somewhere with you where I would much rather be, right Kenny C?  I go, I go, I go….cause sometimes when I close my eyes I am somewhere with you!  Yep we all need that vision, that flame or flames of love and those experiences in this life cycle.  I am so grateful for the many simple and complex gifts from all of you, some overt, some subtle!

Now, my Mar Mar is making me some healthy nutritional boost with the Nutribullet, so time to go drink that and get back to reality of denial and work.  My wish for you all is that you remember and experience LOVE and how special it is.  Many people allowed me to share their TIME and lives with them.  Women, Men, children and special giving, loyal friends………thank you as I am deeply grateful.   Your happy sparkling eyes and gifts are all so nourishing!   My maker has been so kind to me.  God bless faith, love and Music…..HUGS!   As Lionel Ritchie sings….JUST FOR YOU, on the Country Tuskegee Album….I say it to you all.  Remember, you may be surprised at how many young yearning hands are wishing someone would make them feel the gift had a signature, “ Just for You.”  Thank you all!



34 Responses to “The 4th Quarter – It Ain’t the Whiskey”

  1. Nancy Waller says:

    Thanks for giving me something to ponder in a not so good end of the year. Wishing the new year will be a better year ahead. God Bless and thanks for sharing your family memories with us. Always thinking of those who have left us and how they were such a wonderful part of our lives.

  2. Shana Striha says:

    Thanks for another great column, Larry. You always draw me in with the warmth of your words. Thank you for caring, for caring so much for those you know and so much for those you have never met. Thank you for sharing insights into your life and family, I have laughed and cried reading your words. A simple response mentioning a fan’s name in a reply on facebook means more to us than you will ever know and made many of our days. I used to “know of” Larry Wilcox, the actor, now I feel through our meeting in LA last year and conversations in chat and facebook I know Larry Wilcox. 🙂 Hanging out at the tailgate of your pick up was one of the best times of my life, your willingness to share your knowledge and encouraging others to do more and be more is a gift for sure. I am so glad you have such a loving family around you, your wife seems like such an amazing woman, a real role model for your family. Thanks again for all you have done for us, no wonder your fan page is closing in on 10,000, (whatshisname is nowhere near that). Hugs, Shana Striha

    • larry wilcox says:

      Shana….Our circle of friends are growing and we are all Fans of eachother now. Thank you so very much for your time on this planet and my sincere and deep HUG to your heart. May your human narrative be more of a 3 movement piece and a soothing concerto.


  3. Kevin says:

    Many happy times in the New Year!

  4. Peggy Bedingfield says:

    This is a beautiful article. It has made me pause and ruminate over friendships gained and lost this past year. It made me grateful for the family that came together for the first time as a whole with no fighting or complaints.

    Thank you for a wonderful blog that brought back memories both sad and happy.

    God bless, and may you have many more Christmases and memories.

    • larry wilcox says:

      Memories come in octaves and some are melodic and some painful but we can choose to learn from each or wallow in the misery. I find many weeds in my life, and I just keep reflecting on when I was a weed and how I transitioned. Thank you Peggy


  5. Venisa says:

    Hi Larry! Thanks for a great post. It really helped me put my finger on some sadness. My mother-in-law refuses to give my children gifts, saying that we are “rich” and has even given the cousins presents in front of my children. Aside from the rudeness, I wondered why this bothered me so much. I think you expressed very well a lot of what gifts mean to me. A gift of time, a gift that was made for my children, anything would mean so much. Just to know my kids were thought of. Now I’m rambling! Thanks for a great post!!

    • larry wilcox says:

      Venisa….so many transfer their resentement and pain in so many ways. I have done it and often find myself still doing it under certain circumstances. I am privately so sorry for the psyche of your children however, there is something that perhaps you can to to make sure there is limited or no scarring. Each time they see someone in their family, remind them that is their Gift….the Gift of Time. Eventually they may construe the presentless Xmas days as GIFTS. Perhaps It is a perception issue isn’t it and if so, great and if not, just let the emotional abuse continue and blunt it each time with a loving reward of gratitude for time with NO sarcasm. Watch the WEED eventually become a FLOWER. God bless you and your children. Love deeply while you have the gift of TIME.


  6. Shawnette says:

    Wow, that was quite an interesting read! Thanks for sharing! Christmas is so different for many people, myself included. After my husband died a few years ago, I no longer had the funds to participate in the gift giving/receiving part. At first I was so sad, but I love Christmas, so I found ways to make it happy. I volunteered at food share and dinners, I hosted a cookie decorating day, I attended every program at churches I could find, and I spent time with people…and I had the greatest time! Now I look at my inability to buy gifts as a gift in itself…it taught me to find joy in the small things. Thanks for being an example for us…I can just imagine how happy all those kids were to receive their gifts!

    • larry wilcox says:

      Shawnette, I am so happy you have found the fits of time and I empathize with your loss and passing. Money and exchanging gifts is really NOT the issue for me and there is a part of me that continues to search for something else. However, I realize that Christmas is 365 days a year if you want to really give and receive gifts of :”all kinds”. Thank you for giving to the human race and may you take time to relish in those moements with your late husband’s SPIRIT who is right there with you loving all of the GIVING! Larry

  7. Chris bullpens says:

    Thank you for sharing. I loved this happy new year

  8. William Johnston says:

    Good stuff Larry.

  9. julie kelly says:

    as always mr Wilcox your writing has such dept and meaning thank you for sharing your time and writing with us,i was wondering if you have ever thught about putting all your writings into a book,like a memoir? have a wonderful new year and I so look forward to reading more of your wonderful writings.. 🙂

    • larry wilcox says:

      Julie….I wrote the comment to you but I did not post it correctly…sorry. but I simply said Sue often recommends I do a book but I often ask myself if there are really any insights and candor in my so called memoirs. Perhaps it would be a discovery trail for me also. Anyway, thank you and Happy New Year Julie


  10. Mark Chase says:

    Thanks Larry and Happy New Year to you and your family! Make it a great 2014!!

  11. larry wilcox says:

    Yes I could put it into a book, and maybe someday will Julie….but often when you begin that trek you get lost in the forest….and I am not sure I have any real novel ideas other than candor.


  12. Takeshi Norimatsu, LT(Res.),JMSDF says:

    Dear Larry, Thank you for sharing your fabulous Christmas holidays 🙂 I duly enjoyed meeting you at Malibu in Sep 2013 and it was the day my dream came true!!
    We enjoyed the Christmas day but my kids are doubtful about Santa’s existence, so me and my wife will make a plan to let them believe Santa for this year!
    Best Wishes for the new year 2014 for you and your family! We will make a ride again this year in CA or in Japan??
    Say hello to Sue who’s supporting you for your fan!!

    • larry wilcox says:

      Takeshi, so nice to hear from you again, my family from Japan! I appreciate you taking your time to write me a note and I hope your family enjoyed each other and Christmas, a time to share love.


      • Takeshi says:

        Larry, thank you for the reply to my comment and the kind word ‘family from Japan’!! Hope to have an opportunity to ride again in the near future. Will see you soon! Thanks again!!! Takeshi

  13. Norma Yorgensen says:

    Happy New Year to you and
    your family.We need to help others not just at Christmas,but
    every day of the year.Thank you
    for the reminder.Even the small
    acts of kindness can give comfort
    and hope to those who need it.

    • larry wilcox says:

      Norma, yes you are so correct about helping others all year long. I find myself sometimes talking to strangers and it is simply a loving eye that they needed in sharing their issue of the day. Kids and adults need and want love, caring and sensitivity. We can all give that to each other.


  14. David says:


    I cannot thank you and Chip’s enough for a wonderful career in law enforcement. I was in High School watching Chip’s and not knowing what career path that I was going to take. I chose the Georgia State Patrol as a State Trooper and have just recently retired with 25 years of service. You and all the great actors of Chip’s touched more lives than you will ever know. You touched mine in a way that I cannot ever repay and I am sure that I am not the only one who entered law enforcement because of Chip’s. Again, I thank you !!! David

    • Jessica says:

      That’s so neat to hear, David! I have wondered how often kids would watch shows like that (or any of the ‘rescue’ type shows), and actually go on to pursue a career in law enforcement/EMT/firefighting… thank goodness for us ‘civilians’ that you did! We appreciate that you chose ‘to protect and to serve’ as a profession!

  15. larry wilcox says:

    Some people would gloss over your statement and simply say thanks. I believe I was handed a gift with that old show, CHiPs and it was important that I shared it and share it. Influencing a life choice is a major responsibility and of course, it humbles me. Lots of Policemen in various states come up to me as adults and remind me that I was the reason they became a Police Officer and they say it with such reverance. Weird, when I look in their eyes, I feel like I am back in Vietnam, with some of the best friends in my life….my fellow Marines. Semper Fi (even if you are not a Marine, you were an officer of the Law) and thank you for the kind note. I hope you continue to help others now even though you served the great Peach State so well. God bless, Larry

  16. Dana Weber says:

    I’m a little behind as I just decided to purchase the first season of CHiPs this past weekend. If it wasn’t for that purchase I wouldn’t have come looking for this site and your Facebook page or found this wonderful writing. I’ve been having some ups and downs in my life since 2010 when I lost my mother on my 13th wedding anniversary, then I lost my job and the list goes on. I lost myself when everything started to go downhill and now I am finding myself. What you wrote here was an inspiration. I am in awe at how much I can relate to you even with being almost 20 yrs younger. Someone guided me last Saturday to purchase season one of CHiPs, which led me here to you. Someone knew I needed your kind words to help me get to where I need to be. I just downloaded the Lionel Ritchie song Just For You and I was in tears, it hits home. I will probably never get the chance to meet you in person, oh how I wish I didn’t live in MO so Thank you for being that one person who helped me find my way, despite the fact I have never known you personally. Now I must go purchase Tuskegee as I think I will enjoy it as much as you do. Thank you Larry, you are forever someone special in my eyes.

    • larry wilcox says:


      God made you special, a miracle for sure and it is important that you allow him to hug you. Depression….well, the bad guys love depression don’t they. You just PRESS BACK and let the bad guys know that Dana is here to stay and to live in joy. You CHOOSE your THOUGHTS and do not allow habits or bad guys to choose them for you. You CHOOSE to live and to win and to enjoy a life with blessed JOY. Music always brings me to tears when I think of the various things I missed or am missing. Music is my joy and my companion as it allows me the necessary introspection and thus…gratitude for my life…its ups and its downs. Thank you Dana….and I hope we meet soon in Mo. It is an exciting time for you….a time for you to serve your maker and to server your HEART. God Bless and thank you for the gift of your TIME………Larry

      • Dana Weber says:

        Thank You Larry for taking the time to respond to my post, no one else ever has, your the first and I am honored. Thank you for the kind words, you are truly amazing.

        Music speaks to me, songs are more then just words, they have meaning. I love country music. The song Then They Do by Trace Adkins brings me to tears every time. When the kids were growing up, I was ready for them to grow up and move on, now that they have Im lost without them. I miss the Saturday Marching Band competitions, and Winter Guard Competitions, never thought I would but I sure do. My daughter graduated with her Bachelors in Music Education in May, landed a job as assistant music teacher and is pursuing her Masters degree. My son, hes still trying to figure out which way to go with his life. When I hear that song I think of her and how I wanted all her dreams to come true and they did all the while the tears are rolling. She has been truly blessed in life. That is just one of many songs that speaks to me. No matter what life throws at you music can get you through it.

        I cant wait for the Tuskegee CD to get here should be here this week. I love Lionel Ritchie and to add country music artist, it sounds like its going to be awesome.

        I am going to press back cause I’m here to stay, and live in joy while serving my maker and my heart. Your family is truly blessed to have you.

        And believe me, if you ever do come to MO I will surely drop anything and everything to meet you. I hope someday it will happen.


  17. Cora-Jane says:

    wow Larry I have read all and you truely are an amazing guy. I grew up on the show after it aired and after you left the series. I first watched CHiPs when I was 6 years old as a child had a wild imagination(like any little kid) and Larry and Robert both became my heros(well morre my on screen fathers) as been raised just by my mum due to the fact my dad was abusive and been the youngest and very ill most my life it was hard to bond and build trust as when growing up it became harder as many family members did not treat me the same as my half brother and my sister but it was watching CHiPs and with the love from my mum I got through the hard times especially when I was been bullied all through my school years all I can say is Larry thank you for been the most amazing role model and if you ever came to Australia it would be amazing to meet you but keep up the good work and love reading all you write.
    Cheers and Love

  18. Dana Weber says:

    Just wanted to say Thank you for mentioning Tuskegee. You didnt suggest anyone run out and get it but I did and I love it! Lionel Ritchie with all those wonderful country stars, makes for an amazing album. My favorites so far are Stuck on You with Darius, Sail On this Tim and of course Just for You with Billy. Im a school bus driver, my bus is a Ford Focus due to serious fuel usage taking 2 deaf girls to their school. It has a CD player and I listen to it when I get stressed in traffic or after dropping the girls off to just have a relaxing drive back. I was so zoned out one day listening to it while taking the girls home, making our way safely through the traffic, that the little one in the back seat had to yell at me to get my attention to ask me why we were listening to as she put it…. this music. Shes an adorable little 5 yr old. Im so glad you mentioned it, as I am thoroughly enjoying it.
    Your an amazing man, I wish all actors could be as wonderful and caring as you are with your fans.

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