From the Ballfields to the Coalfields

I have written many stories I will always treasure which began during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Some of these stories I would tell to my friends, and they would say, "You need to write a book about that!" I am certain they were not serious, but I thought, Why not? There were some crazy things that happened in a lifetime of experiences. To meet so many legends, I had to be there at the right place and at the right time.I have written many stories that have educational and historical significance. Most of the stories are intended to have humor with no harm intended to anyone.From the Ball Fields to the Coalfields is written to be nonfiction, although some stories are hard to believe. The lifetime of experiences mostly occurred in three regions of Virginia and some in Concord, North Carolina. The three regions in Virginia were the coastal tidewater area, the Shenandoah Valley, and the coalfields of far southwest Virginia. The people involved are friends, family, teachers, coaches, pro-athletes, my baseball teammates, and so many wonderful kids that I taught or coached.Although my book may be considered as an autobiography, it is more about people that the reader would enjoy hearing about their accomplishments rather than my own. During the time I wrote From the Ball Fields to the Coalfields, which started in 2001 until the present time, there were changes in people's lives such as a professional athlete or a coach changing jobs in some cases. Also, there were some people that I wrote about who are now deceased. Some of these occurrences are not mentioned, although the people who have passed away are in the section on "IN MEMORY OF." The book is written over a twenty-year period but as chronological as possible with changes in people's occupations and awards, such as a National Hall of Fame Award to basketball coach Lefty Driesell. Please refer to chapter 32, "LEFTY."Before my time on the ball fields, the book covers my grandfather's part in helping with the Great Depression and an early part of my family in Concord, North Carolina. The period covers a period about being a World War II child, gangs of the fifties, school and amateur baseball, glory years of sports by way of radio, how army and college life was over fifty years ago, and how it was to be a teacher and coach for most of the period beginning in the early 1960s until 2010. Racial equality is one of America's top issues. Chapters 20, 22, 23, and 27 demonstrate how far our nation has gone to be equal, but we still have a way to go. The chapters stress my involvement with African American treatment before Dr. Martin L. King's speech about freedom.If I would have fulfilled my childhood dream and made it to the Major Leagues, then I would not have the nostalgic stories about my family, childhood friends, teaching and coaching friends, and those thousands of kids who are in my book, From the Ball Fields to the Coalfields.

by Richard Boyd

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