Just a quick update at the beginning of February. Interviews were conducted during the month of January with 1976 Olympian Paul Geis, Andre Armstead (’79), John Chambers (’83), Anthony Brown (’77), Rhonda Redditt (’78), and David McDowal (co-captain Gymnastics ’69). I’d like to increase the pace of interviews going forward. If you haven’t spoken to me and have a connection with the program please slot in a time to talk at http://purpledynastybookproject.fullslate.com/ Also, pass this link on to others you may be connected with. I’ll be continuing to also email people directly for interviews.
This is an update about progress on Purple Dynasty. This year has not been a very productive year for me for working on the book. But I can safely say that a number of personal and physical problems have finally been resolved and I am looking at the coming year as the year when this project finally gets into the home stretch. The original idea was to have the book published by now, which was perhaps unrealistic. I would say that the spring of 2018 would be a more honest estimate for publication. Going forward I will be making much more regular posts than in the past here, and elsewhere, to track the books’ progress.
I’d like to remind everyone about how the funding for the project is arranged Through your donations everything has been set for the book to be published, with an initial run of 1000. But those funds have all gone to the publisher as an advance for the publication costs. This funding concept, which is the inverse of usual traditional publishing, means no funds will come to me until the book is written and sales begin. An advantage, perhaps, to this methodology is that the publisher is not pressuring me to get the book written.
However, a disadvantage of this funding model is, similarly, that the publisher is not pressuring me to get the book written. I still have to make my way in life as a home remodeling contractor while trying to get this done. This certainly pulls me away from it at times, although the improved economy has made this part of my life much, much better recently. For instance, this month I have been able to take significant time completely away from that work and get the file boxes moved into an open room and get the work better organized. And I’ve begun the labor intensive task of listening back through many interviews concerning a large section of the narrative, compiling notes. So not to worry - I’m committed, it will get done, and I want the book to be worthy of the program it honors.
The crux of the process is accomplishing many interviews. So far I have completed 65 interviews involving 53 people (some were group interviews, and some people have been interviewed multiple times). Generally these interviews are between one and three hours, and involve a similar amount of time to prepare for. Most recently I have interviewed Mac Wilkins (early 70’s SE weight coach; I need to follow up with him), Bethany Lukus (SE 800m record holder), Kanon Vanderhoff (famed SE multi- event performer), and Barbara Osborn (Harry’s sister - yeah I’m checking on some of those stories Harry!). It continues to be a great privilege to talk with so many people who have been inspired in their lives by SE track.
The primary goal for the coming year will be continuing with completing additional interviews. To get scheduled for an interview simply go to http://purpledynastybookproject.fullslate.com/ . This web-based scheduling program makes the task of lining up interviews easier for me. I have Sunday, Monday, and Thursday evenings blocked out on the schedule. Other times can be arranged simply by emailing me at bobpenny1253atgmail.com . I will also be reaching out individually by email or Facebook to people I know I’d like to interview. I hope to interview as many people as I can that were involved with the program over the years, so please sign up.
I hope everyone is in the midst of a peaceful holiday season.