By Glenn Peppers
“There is an old saying, “Truth is Stranger than Fiction.” Well as the years go by, this saying surely has proven itself to me on more than one occasion; never ceasing to amaze me each strange revelation, everyday that I live.”
In a stunning yet fitting headline for the Twilight Zone Press (not to be confused with any real periodical or new paper outlet in the printed press or online), when I switched on my computer today, and my MSN Homepage popped up, the first thing I saw after I logged on is that Rodney King is in fact marrying the woman known as, Juror #5; or better known to loved ones as, Cynthia Kelly. Miss Kelly served as a Juror in seat number five on King’s civil trial in 1994! The two met by chance the following day after the trial at an LA pizza parlor, and apparently have been an item since that time. As a result of the lawsuit filed, Rodney King netted a comfortable $3.800,000. It is common knowledge among those who have followed this case closely that as a juror on King’s case, Cynthia Kelly pushed for King’s monetary settlement, whereas the remaining Jurors on the case were dead set against awarding King any kind of financial restitution.
Since his trial and subsequent lawsuit, and the LA riot’s, King has had various run in’s with the law, even one other traffic incident deeming him intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle; this even after his much publicized video taped beating, and police brutality case in 1991, leading up to the trial result that sparkied the Los Angeles riots in 1992. A riot that started moments after a verdict of innocent was handed down to all the all white accused officers who pummeled King in a continuous and unrelenting beating, caught on video tape, showing to the world in major news clips, sound bites and news specials, even to this day. The verdict angered an entire community of people who lived in parts of Los Angeles, including the Compton and Watts area of Los Angeles, setting LA aflame with looting and violence. During the following days of the riot, King maintained his cool and begged others to do so as well! Through the years, Rodney King has maintained his cool and quiet, yet almost comically demure composure about his predicament and situation. His gentle giant mannerisms and homespun phrasings spawned a catch phrase that in a some ways has become bigger than King Himself. It is the Phrase; “Can’t we all just get along?”
Who’d have guessed that close to 20 years ago, Rodney King would have even thought to marry the very juror who fought for him in a jury room of his peers, who were convinced that Rodney King deserved absolutely nothing for his suffering? For that matter, there is a fair bet that Cynthia Kelly never imagined meeting up with King after his trial, let alone end up making marriage plans with him almost 20 years later. yes my friends, Truth is indeed Stranger than Fiction! So here I sit at my computer thinking to myself, “in my wildest dramatic ideals, I could never have thought up such a quirky scenario. No not even to write a comedy skit clowning the issue, such as in an SLN spoof!”
There’s a lot of stranger than fiction scenarios all around us everyday. What, you don’t see them?… After I looked around a bit, I started thinking to myself, “what if 30 years ago, someone told me that Michael Jackson’s skin color (however it happened) would change to white, and that he’d have a series of plastic surgery mishaps that would leave him looking like the living embodiment of The Phantom of the Opera? Or that he would end up leading the life of a recluse and die mysteriously at age 50 from a drug overdose from a powerful surgical anesthetic drug, administered by his own personal doctor… at home as a sleep sedative?”
I would have told you that you were out of your ever-loving mind! What if I told you 35 years ago that we’ll soon have more than 3 Television Channels, Gas would be close to $5.00 a gallon. That we’ll have Cars that Parked Themselves and have Video Cameras in the back of the cars instead of rear view mirrors, or that we’ll have Satellite Radio, and GPS tracking units in our cars (you’d probably ask me, what the heck is GPS, and what is it for?). Is this strange to you?
Think about this! What if I told you back in 1965 when Star Trek first came on the air that we would have our own personal little telephones so small, and so mobile that we could walk around with an actual telephone in our pants pocket, just like their Star Fleet communicators? I know, I know, this all sounds so passé by today’s standards doesn’t it? Ok, let’s try one more “What if!” Now, what if I told you just 10 years ago that America would soon have an African American as President of these United States of America? I’m sure you would have saw to it that I affectively checked myself into the nearest state hospital! I say that to say this. There is another old saying. “There’s a thin line between science fiction and science fact!” Everyday, little by little we cross those lines bringing what was once fiction into reality. This being true as far as truth being stranger than fiction as well.
I wish Rodney King, and Cynthia Kelly much happiness. Life has afforded Mr. King quite the strange ride along its unpredictable rocky road. A lot of it has been oddly played out in front of a camera (whether being beaten physically or figuratively); yet most times in a drastic and less than favorable light, in sort of a tabloid/TMZ kind of existence. Maybe there is such a thing as being famous as a result of fate or happenstance.
Personality, I do not believe that there is such a thing as pre-destiny, so it is my belief that Rodney King was and is doing just what he wanted to do with his life. He could have gone into total obscurity and never been heard from again; but no, this wasn’t and still isn’t the personality of Rodney King. From much adversity in his life came celebrity! Good bad or indifferent, Rodney King will soon be married to Juror #5; and believe me, I couldn’t have made that up if I tried!
In coming along in these modern times, especially in these wild times in America, as life unfolds, you’ll discover that it is often times quite shockingly spontaneous, and totally unpredictable! Let nothing fool you my friends, the truth will always be stranger than fiction. No matter how odd it may seem to you!