Life Lessons From An Unlikely Teacher
by Rick D. Niece, Ph.D.
Retail: $ 15.95
Published by Five Star Publications, Inc.
Published Spring 2012
6 x 9
Web site: http://www.RickNieceBooks.com
The Band Plays On
Side-Yard Superhero Audiobook
ABOUT THE BOOK
Although life's journey takes him far from his childhood home, Rick D. Niece, Ph.D., never forgets the people he meets and the lessons he learns as a young man growing up in picturesque DeGraff, Ohio, population 900. A small-town newspaper boy who becomes a lifelong educator himself, Dr. Niece is deeply touched by the endearing residents of DeGraff who shaped his youth-especially Bernie Jones. Confined to a wheelchair with severe cerebral palsy, Bernie becomes Rickie's friend, inspiration and superhero, opening a world of compassion, trust and adventure to them both.
When he leaves DeGraff to attend Ohio State University, Rick promises Bernie that he will visit him again. Unfortunately, when Bernie's parents pass away, Bernie disappears, too, taken in by a distant relative. Forty years later, Rick learns that his boyhood friend is living in a nursing home. Returning to Ohio, he visits the never-to-be-forgotten Bernie Jones of a childhood long past and a promise finally kept.
"Bernie, you're the reason. You're the reason I came back home..."
- Chapter Twenty-One, A Promise Finally Kept
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Growing up in picturesque DeGraff, Ohio, Rick D. Niece, Ph.D., was influenced by many endearing friends and neighbors who taught him the important life lessons that shaped his future. Considering himself a small-town boy who has maintained his small-town values, Dr. Niece shares his carefully pocketed memories with fond nostalgia.
His professional expertise spanning more than 40 years, Niece has served as a classroom teacher, a public school administrator and a university professor, provost and president. Since 1997, he and his wife, Sher�e, have served as President and First Lady of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas, where they are the proud "parents" of 630 students.
WHAT MAKES SIDE-YARD SUPERHERO UNIQUE?
Automythography: A work of nonfiction that looks reflectively at what we think we remember and how we think we remember it; an iridescent memory based upon truth and fact. - RDN
Referred to by the author as an "automythography," Side-Yard Superhero is a seamlessly woven compilation of memories from the childhood of Rick D. Niece, Ph.D. The first book in the delightful Fanfare for a Hometown series, Side-Yard Superhero takes readers on a nostalgic journey of remembrance sure to tug heartstrings and strengthen community ties, wherever they may be. A must-read story with widespread appeal, it has been designated the Spring 2012 selection of the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton's One Book, One Community reading program. The author has also developed a cross-promotional partnership with United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). The Side-Yard Superhero audiobook is narrated by noted actor/author Alex Cord.
Stepping back in time to an age of innocence and possibility, Niece invites readers from all walks of life to join him as he pays tribute to small-town America, the unbreakable bonds of friendship and the triumph of the human spirit.
EXCERPT FROM SIDE-YARD SUPERHERO
From Chapter Ten, The Thatcherville Hill Adventure: In all the time I'd known Bernie, I'd never looked closely at his wheelchair until I began to tug it up the hill. The chair was solid and heavy with lots of chrome-plated metal, two large steel-rimmed back tires, and smaller all-rubber wheels in front that swiveled for turning. Behind his back was a large, thickly folded towel, and he sat on a flat cushion extending side to side atop the stretched leather seat. I suddenly realized the wheelchair was an integral part of Bernie's life and not merely an accessory to it. I felt bad I hadn't given his chair the proper respect before our adventure. Now, when I see someone in a wheelchair, I consider the chair to be an extension of the person in it. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, but I do it nonetheless...
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