Cadillac Ranch goes Blue for Prostate Cancer Awareness
By JON MARK BEILUE
Addition by Cathleen Tyson
Joe Ed Coffman was 49 in 2007, the year Dan Fogelberg, one of his musical inspirations, died of prostate cancer. Coffman was entering the prime age that prostate cancer strikes.
He knew a lot about Fogelberg’s music, but not so much about what ended his life at age 56.
“I didn’t even know what a prostate was,” Coffman said. “I never even heard of it. I didn’t know. I think a lot of men are just ignorant to it.”
Since then, Coffman has carried the torch locally for prostate cancer awareness and fundraising. He started Friends of Fogelberg, a grassroots movement that legally became a second-party fundraiser.
Its primary event is a benefit concert where, beginning in 2008, local musicians came together every other year for a message and music. The last two concerts, including one in July, helped raise nearly $30,000 apiece for the Don & Sybil Harrington Cancer Center for screenings for indigent and uninsured men. Free screenings for any men are scheduled for Sept. 22.
For Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Joe Ed Coffman wanted to draw attention with something that is well known in the Amarillo Area. The Cadillac Ranch. As the full blue moon rose, he and painter, John Alsup, and photographer, Cathleen Tyson rushed out at sunset, painting and shooting as fast as they could.
One of the blue cadillac photos were published in the first blue newspaper in the nation on Sunday, September 9th, 2012, a brain child of Dr. Gerald Holman. Using the new slogan, “Think Blue too,” Dr. Holman is himself living his last days battling the disease he fights so hard to bring awareness to.
“Our slogan is ‘Think Blue Too, it’s a little play on words on their ‘Think Pink.’ Everyone has heard of that. Hopefully, it will get across the message not to forget us men.”
_Joe Ed Coffman, Amarillo
Painter - John Alsup
Assistant - Joe Ed Coffman
Photos - Cathleen Tyson