Flora Cash's Cole Randall confesses, apologizes for defacing Pompeys Pillar

Flora_Cash_Couple.jpg

A quick listen to Plymouth-based Flora Cash's sepia-toned folk makes them seem like passionate souls. Unfortunately, that passion led to an ill-informed decision on singer/guitarist Cole Randall's part. According to the lengthy confession and apology he posted in letter form Monday, his choice to etch "Cole + Shpresa <3 10/10/2013" near explorer William Clark's name on the historic sandstone of Pompeys Pillar in Montana was motivated by "love and fear of loss."

On October 10, the pair were caught on the national monument's grounds. The carving that Randall's wife and bandmate Shpresa Lleshaj had advised against was later discovered by investigators. Randall says he regrets the decision to go against her wishes and is ready to face the consequences. The text of his letter is below.

See Also: Cole Randall of Flora Cash accused of defacing Montana monument


In it, Randall explains that he and his bride had cut their California honeymoon short after she discovered a suspicious lump in her breast. He was terrified on their trip home, and their trip to the monument was colored by worry for his wife. His apology is lengthy and heartfelt.

To everyone affected by my signing the sandstone near the great William Clark's signature,

First, I humbly apologize. It was never my intention to harm the archaeological site, which contains Clark's signature. It was also not my intention to proclaim that I am somehow in the same "league" as that great explorer. The fact is: there is no excuse for my etching our names onto that rock... but I owe you an explanation and with that: a context in which my actions can be better understood.

My new wife and I had just finished our honeymoon, which consisted of a road trip to California. Sadly, our honeymoon was cut short when my wife discovered a suspicious lump on her breast. Because she had no insurance at the time, we were forced to make the trip back to Minnesota before we could even attempt to work out a screening. During the entire trip home, I was scared... Terrified, actually. Worst-case scenarios raced through my mind.

Eventually, we happened across the historical site known as Pompey's Pillar. I read the sign that explained why this place was significant and was utterly inspired by the last part of the description, which read, "for generations, Americans passing by this place have left their marks upon the rocks." Despite my better judgment, I was taken with the idea that by putting our names on that stone, we would be adding to a tradition started by the Native Americans, renewed by William Clark and carried forward by the average folk who have passed by and "left their marks" for over 200 years. On top of that, I was motivated by the fact that maybe if something were to happen to my wife, I could come back to this place years from now and see her and my names together. Stupid? Yeah. Misguided? Definitely. But when love and fear of loss team up: we sometimes lose our better judgment, no matter the consequences.

The fact is: regardless of what happens, our names will be removed from that stone. And I will be prepared to face the consequences of my actions. My wife advised me not to etch our names, but I insisted... foolishly. I regret my decision and once again, I humbly apologize to the people of Montana and to every American who was affected by my foolishness. My promise to you is that I have learned a valuable lesson throughout this ordeal and will never repeat such an action in the future. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me for this and realize that I understand the gravity of my mistake.

Kindest regards and best wishes,

Cole Randall


See the etching on the next page


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50 comments
fuherg1
fuherg1

I see he is in a band and owns a nice guitar.  Wonder if he would mind if I carved my name in it?

fuherg1
fuherg1

I see he is in a band and has a nice guitar.  I wonder if he would like someone carving their name into his guitar?

fuherg1
fuherg1

I see he is in a band and has a nice guitar.  I wonder if he would mind if I carved my name in that?

Steven M Vogt
Steven M Vogt

Take him to Montana beat him with a stick and make him walk home. Oh yeah make him cut his own stick. Worked for my Grandpa, why I don't do stupid shit

DanielLewis
DanielLewis

His insipid little plea for "understanding" doesn't hold water.  He was so concerned for his wife, racked with "fear & loss", that he cut their honeymoon short...but still had the time for a side-trip to go hiking through the park, admits he read the signs (the same ones that warn against defacing national monuments) and against his wife's wishes, he carved their names in stone.  He also had the chance to admit his wrong-doing when the caretakers at the monument questioned him after the alarm went off at the site. 
HE ONLY ADMITTED GUILT AND CLAIMED TO BE SORRY AFTER HE WAS CAUGHT!
Face it.  This guy is a hipster troglodyte tool, who (like the deeply wounded apologists defending him) believe the world (and the government) owe them a living.
In other words Bub...I don't believe a single word of your bilious, trumped up story.

Andrew Casey
Andrew Casey

Ran Dazzle I hope we all get the chance to look at your profile picture and critique you (with things such as dental hygiene tips) but some people would rather stick to the actual "issue" here.

Andrew Casey
Andrew Casey

You all sound ignorant. Thanks to the city pages for allowing you to let your inner idiot out.

Sam Gibson
Sam Gibson

“Be kind; everyone is fighting a hard battle.”

jocala
jocala

This fool needs to be jailed. Not the wife though.

Ran Dazzle
Ran Dazzle

hehe..made me giggle..i thought they looked unclean

nix.nightbird
nix.nightbird

"The fact is that, despite the many signs that clearly say "DAMAGE AND DEFACEMENT OF ROCK IS SUBJECT TO ARREST AND PENALTY OF LAW" and "IT IS UNLAWFUL TO MARK OR DEFACE ROCKS", I decided a great way to get some publicity for my hipster music project was to do something that would get me in the papers, because as they say, "there's no such thing as bad publicity."

"I apologize. Please look me up on the Internet, buy our music, and check out our shows. Peace! "

BCNU
BCNU

His apology isn't really an apology, more of a plea for us to "understand him."  I understand he damaged a site with tremendous historical value, even after he was asked to leave.

He needs to be charged with a felony and made to pay restitution, no matter how long it takes and how it affects his life.  We need to discourage the next self-absorbed idiot from doing something similar.

Andrew Casey
Andrew Casey

I hope the City Pages and the Star Tribune send journalist throughout America to document and report in all findings of similarly engraved hearts with a couples names in it. I also hope all of you morons who hope for these peoples hangings realize how petty you all are and move on to tomorrow's pointless news article you can negatively comment on.

Linnaea Lindahl
Linnaea Lindahl

Jesus, people! Get some real problems. We all make mistakes, and I'm willing to bet that this doesn't even hold a flame to many of yours. God forbid any of your shortcomings go public, for there will always be people like you there to make you feel even worse about it.

Tanner Slade Olson
Tanner Slade Olson

He did such a bad thing writing on your stuff, fix it and move on.

Tanner Slade Olson
Tanner Slade Olson

He did such a bad wrong thing by writing on your shit. Boo hoo, go fix it and move on.

Tanner Slade Olson
Tanner Slade Olson

Go fuck off! Who gives a shit. I like it and its only helping them get more attention.

Yankee Doodle Pablo
Yankee Doodle Pablo

Children of the Entitlement mentality. He may want to get a haircut before prison.

Eric VonSchliesing
Eric VonSchliesing

awwww....... thats touching. Does Not change the fact that it's a felony.

calendargirl57
calendargirl57

I love their music, and I think the monument probably has much better vibes with Randall's etching than without it.

vrp406
vrp406

What a total loser.  Egotistical ass.  Defacing a national monument.  It's a felony & one can only hope they throw the book at you.  I'm sorry...I didn't think laws applied to me, if I say I'm sorry everything is all better.  Yes Mr Randall the world does not revolve around you.  May you reap what sow.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

Punish him in a way that will really hurt. Shave his head.

C.R.
C.R.

sounds like an adventure! :D

cheepsoda
cheepsoda

@DanielLewis Get down off your pedestal and join the rest of us. People make mistakes. Maybe one day, if you finally cease being perfect, you'll be lucky enough to have nameless (and faceless, apparently) keyboard crusaders ready to claim they know everything about you, your motives and your "hygiene" - how did that ever get started in the first place? lol


someone.wicked
someone.wicked

@Bob Bock No, not hippies... HIPSTERS. They are WORSE. 

poop
poop

@Andrew Casey Shut up hippie vandal sympathizer!

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours

@Tonpoco Olson When is that hipster going to write the check to have it fixed?

jane
jane

 I guess you don't live in Montana so you don't care.  Too bad we have sooooo many ignorant and inconsiderate tourists who just think this is their playground.

RationalReader
RationalReader

@Paul Gerold Yep, makes sense. Rapists, murderers, thieves and people carving their names in a rock all belong in the same place. Suuuper rational, Paul.

C.R.
C.R.

misdemeanor actually - small fine - done and over with. must suck to know that huh? lol

DanielLewis
DanielLewis

@cheepsoda @DanielLewis 
Hey Cheepsoda.  Quit hiding behind a fake name and come out into the light.  If anyone is faceless...it's you.
No pedestals here Bub.  And no excuses either.
Cole's actions were not a mistake.  He defaced a national monument willingly and willfully, despite being warned.  His hubris outweighed his respect.  He wanted to put their names in stone, and it didn't matter to him that it is illegal to do so, and has been for 23 years.
I feel the same way about Mr. Randall's actions as I did about the thoughtless morons who topped the ancient stone formations in Goblin Valley.
BTW Cheep...I haven't said anything about Cole's hair or hygiene. Why would I? I have had longer hair than his for decades, and a much better looking beard.  I'm on old school hippy Bub, and I've supported the indie music scene longer than you've been alive.

RationalReader
RationalReader

@TweetsAreYours Now I'm sure... Lady Gaga is actually commenting on this non-news! Cool!! These kids must be honored... lol

Kevin_1264
Kevin_1264

@jane I dunno, he could be from Montana. Check out the picture of him and his horse.

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