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Just because growing up is brutal and crushing, doesn't mean it can't be fun. Realistic and moving, the saga of a spirited, potentially world-class high school half-miler is interwoven with colorful vignettes and amazingly detailed childhood reflections, one long day in a sleep psychiatrist's office.
Dr. Vanetta senses there's a reason Charles a 38 year old executive, sleeps only four hours a night - and it isn't physical. The doctor cancels the scheduled sleep lab and explores a history in which his exceptional patient is kidnapped by thugs, chased by gangs and set up by a football coach intent on serious injury.
Later, Charles spars cavalierly with an undermining track coach while secretly fighting a disintegrating knee. On the lighter side, he organizes swimming parties in a leech-infested swamp; has a whimsical running battle with a school principal for repeatedly mangling bullies; and at age ten, he's taught everything there is to know about business by a Jewish neighbor lady who takes the art of lemonade "peddling" to a level beyond Wall Street.
His severe parents move the family constantly. They use public humiliation for "correction." By not dwelling on the negative Charles thinks he's gotten beyond it. But has he?
His life is an unsettling parade of adults failing to fulfill their appointed roles. Heartwarmingly, at every stage of his life, there is at least one person who believes in him and who keeps him believing in himself. From the WWI vet to the old-fashioned Kentucky teacher; from the New York Jewish lady who really cared to the wise, calm school counselor; these are the people everyone would want in their corner.
And would he realize too late that there had been someone else who wanted to be in his corner but didn't know how - someone just like him?
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About the Author
With a Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medical studies and fresh out of the University of Washington, Charles "temporarily" entered the business world. There, with his hand perpetually on the doorknob, he spent the first couple of decades where he was highly successful, eventually becoming the CEO of one of Seattle's largest technology firms.
Of the 5000 people in Seattle who have worked for him at one time or another, approximately 80% love him; 15% could take him or leave him; and 5% will run him over in a crosswalk if they see him. This is an admirable distribution and one we should all strive for - especially if you look both ways before crossing the street.
Despite his success, he always felt like an oval peg in a round hole, so he became a writer and world wanderer.
Charles is a Seattle native. He married Kristy while in college and he feels that was the best decision of his life. They have three great kids, Lexie, Mason and Walker, along with llamas, two chickens and a bulldog named Bullard, who is very dull and dependent.
He is presently pursuing a world record in the 400 meters in International Masters Track and Field.
He is the author of Breath of Kenya, which details the time he spent in a primitive village in the deep interior of East Africa.