Author’s note: Finally, the new novel. Thanks for all the support and for reading the short offerings put forth. A.S.
Lost soul John Gates returns to Myrtle Beach, SC, after six years and rejoins his three lifelong friends, all of whom worked the Murrells Inlet restaurants in the summers of their college years before moving on to other professions. Gates plans to put his past life of decadence and womanizing, for which he has a guilty secret, behind him. He seeks out William McMillian, a black friend and former co-worker and learns William hopes to follow his dream of purchasing his own restaurant. Gates vows to help William in any way he can. Their racist former boss, Danny Rivers, and his brothers have another idea – to extort William’s life savings to expand their own empire. What unfolds is an epic, two-generational saga that breaks down barriers and stereotypes as family greed and inhumanity clash with friendship, love, and the indomitable human spirit in the late 1980s.
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Heading to the Pullman Square area of Huntington, W.V., say “hi” to some nice folks and hopefully move a few books! If you happen to be in the area, please stop by. Thanks to Empire Books & News for hosting me. The Long Shadow of Hope is also available in paperback and electronically on Amazon.com.
Jody Jividen, in spring of 1985, just a month or so before we embarked on our 8,500-mile, 21-day, circle-America car trip. The pictures were taken with my new Canon A-E1, the two negatives stacked and processed in the St. Albans High School dark room, where I was, at the time, advising the SAHS yearbook staff.
My path so divergent, it would be another eleven years before Jode – Yode – became my boss at The Charleston Daily Mail. But in those eleven years our friendship continued to grow, and his friends became my friends, and mine became his. What we had in common far-outweighed what we didn’t — what we didn’t was table scraps, what we did was the meal. As I sit here so many memories flash into my head they make continuing difficult. A story percolates there, like so many others.
Jody died in August of 2002, two years to the month after my sister, Kelly, and seven years before Mike Cherry, one of Jode’s college mates, a Charleston sportswriting great, and a close friend to us both, of course, to Jody more than me.
My first book, The Long Shadow Of Hope, is dedicated to the three of them. There is no way the book can adequately honor their memory. Jody told me some thirty years ago to “just keep writing.” And, that’s what I will do, my friend. I am blessed to have the chance to do so. Peace unto you.