By Patsy R. Brumfield
TUPELO – State Rep. Steve Holland, usually a master of the turned phrase, is nearly speechless about his own colorful, profanity-laced remarks published in a recent national magazine.
Holland, D-Plantersville, wasn’t the main focus of a GQ story – it humorously examined personalities and circumstances surrounding the sensational April arrest and release of Elvis impersonator Kevin Curtis of Corinth, initially accused on federal charges that he mailed poison-laden letters to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Tupelo and Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland.
Judge Holland is Steve Holland’s mother, and he often admits to being “a mama’s boy.”
The lengthy GQ story, published in the October issue of the upscale magazine, features the eccentric Curtis and how he came to be the object of the federal investigation, which fell apart days after his April 17 arrest and incarceration, and then how authorities came to arrest ex-Tupelo martial arts instructor J. Everett Dutschke, with whom Curtis had a years-long feud.
Deep into that story, its award-winning writer, Wells Tower, expounds that if he were to diagram “the political dream-lives” of Dutschke and Curtis, their circles would intersect at Steve Holland.
In 2007, Dutschke ran and lost a contentious campaign as a Republican against Holland for the District 16 seat in Lee County. Curtis reportedly doesn’t know Holland but has suspicions the legislator knows something about Curtis’ conspiracy theory involving body parts and North Mississippi Medical Center, a situation which cost Curtis his janitorial job years ago.
The writer reports that he wanted to understand Holland in hopes he might better understand the Curtis-Dutschke rivalry. He describes Holland as “a gloriously profane and paradoxically genteel man of 58.”
In a fax to the Daily Journal late Tuesday, Holland said, “I think Mr. Tower wrote a very entertaining article.”
Holland reportedly told Tower that he didn’t know Dutschke before the campaign or why Dutschke disliked him so intensely.
Tower writes that “in a show of true hospitality and professional transparency,” Holland invited Tower to his funeral home business “to help him put a nightgown on a corpse.”
Across what may have been a period of days, Tower recorded Holland’s audacious chatter and quoted his liberal use of colorful language, laced with hard-core profanities. Holland also was quoted telling Tower how much he loves his funeral business and its profitability.
When the Daily Journal telephoned Holland for an interview about the GQ article, the usually vocal legislator said he didn’t think it was wise to get into print on this one. Not again, anyway.
But in his fax, he expressed gratitude that his mother is well after opening one of the suspect letters.
He also said he is “honored with wonderful friendships” and the confidence from families who “have chosen us to assist them in their time of need.”
Tower could not be reached for comment, but Holland did say the writer continues to email him and, for the story, followed him around for days with a recorder. He didn’t dispute how he was quoted.