From Hard Knocks to Hard Rocks: A Journey in My Shoes is my story of how a poor kid from the Ozarks, who was ill equipped, educationally or financially, to attended Missouri School of Mines (MSM) and yet became a mining engineer. A career which got me out of the Ozarks and took me to many countries. This journey will tell of many funny anecdotal stories and covers our lives during the Great Depression; life on an Ozark hill farm, where ever thing we tried, failed; the home front during WWII; the returning of thousands of battle-hardened veterans to blend onto college campuses with naïve kids just out of high school and the stories they generated; my early experiences in the underground mines of Washington, Idaho and Colorado. Then being drafted in the army infantry but ending up in the Corp of Engineers (COE) during the Korean War and how that quirk of events ended up with the COE sponsoring my returning to MSM to get an MS degree in mining engineering. This led to being hired by St. Joseph Lead Co. for their new mining research department. I was involved in some very successful research developments in mining techniques, which found world-wide interest and allowed me to succeed, not only within St. Joe, but also with a world-wide reputation. During my 22 years with St. Joe, I was not only successful in rising through their ranks but was also involved with their building a modern town and three mining-milling complexes in the wilderness of the Clark National Forest of the Missouri Ozarks, at a time just before the eco-activists were stopping all mining's progress. Yet, the overall area has not been harmed one bit in 50-plus years. I think that you will find that traveling with me (and my Guardian Angel) through my career as a mining engineer will be interesting and at times, even exciting (if not downright scary). I'll take you to many places in the United States, as well as many other countries. To name a couple of adventures: there was the snow avalanche while we were perched on the side of Battle Mountain, Colorado, and the hike across Death Valley one August night. These are just two of the places and stories that you may find interesting. Because the story covers 83 years of my life, I have divided it into two books: Book One and Book Two. Book One covers the 40 years in which I mostly resided in my home state of Missouri, but did some travel in the United States, Peru, Chile, UK, Germany and Mexico. Book Two covers the last 43 years, in which most of my extensive travels to at least 15 other countries and took me to many exotic places from the jungles of the Amazon in Peru, to a mine near the North Pole and a few very harrowing experiences where I was afraid for my survival. I hope that you will travel with me, since I know that you will find the trip most interesting. In summary, I have traveled in more than 30 countries; some of them extensively, venturing to some very remote regions. My work has taken me to all 50 states in the U.S. and all 10 provinces of Canada, most of the Australian provinces, much of Mexico, extensively in South America, many countries in Europe and extensively in China. This travel has given me a broad perspective of life as you find it in many diverse cultures and made me realize the blessing of being born to a Christian family, during the great depression and in America. I would hope that this background would be something that I could build on in writing stories about people and the cultures of where they live, which I believe you will find interesting. .