The Movie, The Book,
and a
Curious Man Named Seeke

Normally, someone will write a book about some compelling subject, then, if the book is dynamic enough, someone else will translate it into a movie. That would be the natural order of things. The telling of Uncle Bush's story, much like the story itself, didn't follow the natural order.

Scott Seeke, pastor, husband, dad, talented writer, and a man with a driving curiosity, had the good fortune to marry a girl from East Tennessee, and in so doing married into a family that held a big player in Uncle Bush's celebrated funeral. His curiosity was piqued from the moment Buddy Robinson, his wife's grandfather, began to tell the extraordinary story. Buddy had driven the hearse that carried Uncle Bush's hand-crafted coffin, with Uncle Bush sitting in the passenger's seat. Scott listened with rapt attention, then started asking questions, many of which Buddy couldn't answer. The most pressing question was, "Why did he have the live funeral in the first place?" Powered by that question, and intrigued by the whole idea, Scott began to research the story, attempting to fill the gaps with facts, and to determine the answer to that one main question. For puzzling, not to mention vexxing, reasons, his efforts to get at the facts were thwarted at every turn, and he was left with little more than Buddy had related in their initial conversation. Frustrated, yet still captivated by the abstract idea, Scott began to fill gaps to suit himself and ultimately created a love story filled with mystery and suspense. It was pure fiction, but it was high-quality storytelling, and it had a future.

Scott had a friend in the movie business. With the collaboration of that friend, and dogged persistence, their screenplay became the movie, Get Low, starring Robert Duvall. The whole process took over ten years.

For more about Get Low, Click Here

You would think that would be the end of it for Scott Seeke, with an overwhelmingly successful project wrapped up, a big feather in his cap, and other areas of his life needing his attention. And that might have been the way it went, except for one thing...the one big question... nay, the many questions he'd had to leave unanswered about Uncle Bush's real life and real story....and real reason.

Several months before the debut of the movie, one of Scott's collaborators located this website, On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand -The Extraordinary Last Rites of Felix Bushaloo Breazeale, and immediately notified Scott. I'm sure it was a surreal, eureka moment, when the main page opened. Before him was a detailed face on the man he had been mentally involved with for many years. For his purposes, and from his research experiences, this website was a treasure trove of information and pictures, with links to other associated websites. He was back in the hunt as if the movie never existed.

Subsequently, Scott and I became friends, meeting several times for conversations in the ensuing years, and of course there were phone calls and emails. At some point, Scott made a firm decision to write a book to tell the real story of Bush Breazeale's live funeral, the story of Bush's life, culture, momentous events and, ultimately, to draw some conclusions about his motivation to be alive and well at his own funeral. Scott was much more successful in his second round of research efforts. Those efforts continued for several years, as one contact lead to another, and the book gradually developed. Finally, I got a message one day, out of the blue, letting me know that the book had been published. It was on Amazon.com: Uncle Bush's Live Funeral - A True Story of Second Chances, by Scott Seeke. Another big feather for Scott's cap.

To go to Amazon.com, Click Here

As for me, when I finished reading the book, I was overwhelmed, almost emotional. It was not because of the story, I knew the story well. And, it wasn't because my name appears in the book a couple times. It was because my friend Scott had nailed it. His writing style is superb. He carries you along in a relaxed, personable way, 'chatting' about his findings, while drawing pictures with his astute observations. The thing that overcame me was his brilliant assessments and subsequent conclusions about the culture that was the backdrop of the story and from which the event grew. I've heard Scott say several times that the greatest impediment he had in writing this book was that he was an outsider, a Yankee. I disagree. While that may have been a huge source of frustration, I believe it was his greatest asset. One brought up as an insider would not even notice the vast majority of the cultural idiosyncrasies that lay in thick layers behind this story. If they did notice them, they would not have the necessary reference system to put them in perspective. Scott's first book is a masterpiece of observation and keen perception, coupled with a quality of which Uncle Bush probably saw little in his life, compassion. Even when the information he had was dark, ominous, and unforgiving, Scott saw something in Bush that called for restraint in condemnation. He extended the benefit of doubt, and systematically developed a solid case to support Bush's apparent thought process. Scott may be the only person who has ever 'gone to bat' for Bush, and it looks like he has hit it out of the park. I think Uncle Bush would be "mighty well pleased".

Mick Breazeale                              

To go to Scott Seeke's website, Click Here

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