As most of you who read my columns know, I am a big fan of the West Virginia Mountaineers. Watching them play football and writing about them are two of my greatest passions!
However, in the off-season, I have not been publishing anything on this column. But my passion for writing has been directed to other pursuits.
A few years ago, I published a book called “Heroes in Our Midst.” The book, no longer in print, was a series of biographies of World War II veterans, most of them from the Mid Ohio Valley.
Getting to know those men during those interviews were definitely some of the greatest experiences of my life! Not only did I learn their stories and have the chance to tell them, I also was privileged to meet West Virginia’s only living Medal of Honor recipient, Herschel “Woody” Williams.
Woody Williams was a Marine who earned the MOH for his gallantry on Iwo Jima. During the course of a few hours, Williams repeatedly braved hostile fire, advanced on the enemy, and took out several Japanese pillboxes with nothing other than handheld explosives and a flame thrower.
I was honored to spend several hours with Mr. Williams and also hold the Medal of Honor, an opportunity that many of the recipients never have. The reason is simple: most of those Medals are awarded posthumously.
Mr. Williams is certainly a fine gentleman and everything you would expect in a hero. And the few remaining copies of that book are inadequate to fully tell his remarkable exploits in World War II.
But unlike that book, this summer my writing passions have been directed towards another goal: publishing a Western. And it is a goal I have finally achieved!
My latest book is entitled, “Long Ride to Yesterday,” a book of traditional Western fiction. Admittedly I am a little biased, but I think the book is more than just another shoot-‘em-up. I believe it is an entertaining book that has elements that would appeal to both men and women. It is not my first book and it will definitely not be my last.
So, in case you wonder what happened to me, I am still around. When Mountaineers gather, when grills and gladiators come to the gridiron, then I will be there with you.
I don’t want to miss a moment of West Virginia’s run for the BCS Championship. And that will happen when…
When Pat White and pigskins fly!