Back in July, 2009 I sat down to begin researching for a book that I had been considering writing for quite a while. Well, it is finally done! And as the title to this column states, “So am I!”
This has been quite a pilgrimage and I admit that I have enjoyed most of the journey. The actual researching and writing were very enjoyable, but the tedious tasks of finding and selecting pictures, preparing the book for print, and now waiting for its arrival have all been very stressful. Regretfully, the stress is not over, as I am still waiting for the book to arrive and for the sales to pick up so that, hopefully, I will not take a financial bath on this project.
The book is titled “Taking It To the Limit…Everytime - A History of R.E. Lee Football - The Cavan and Perdue Years, 1953-1991”. It chronicles every season for the Rebels from the time Coach Jim Cavan arrived on East Lee Street in 1953 until the final Lee game in Lincoln County in 1991. There is a chapter for each of those 39 seasons. Also included is an appendix which includes Lee records, lettermen, cheerleaders, Homecoming Queens, award winners, scholarship winners, seasonal scores, and every Lee score for those 39 years. Also included will be recollections and thoughts from over 40 former Lee players and 10 former coaches. This gives the book, which is basically a factual presentation, a personal touch.
The book will be a soft bound volume on quality paper. It will have an attractive color cover with a picture of the west side of Matthews Field taken before the changes were made in 1997. The book will have 500+ pages and almost 300 pictures of former players, coaches, teams, and player groups.
Hometown Printers has helped me put this book together. To be serious, Jarrell Pitts has done all of the work and I have just sat back and watched as he toiled overtime and with great patience to make this the very best offering possible. Jarrell is a very smart and talented man and he has done a terrific job in overcoming numerous challenges to get us to the point that we are today. Without Jarrell Pitts this book would not be possible and I give him considerable credit for any success that it may have.
As I compose this column, I do not have the book in-hand. It is in the printing stage in South Carolina. This is creating considerable stress because I have always anticipated having the book available for purchase for Christmas gifts. The two pre-sale events that we had were successful but I am aware that having the book available for sale is much more preferable. I hope to have some copies early next week and the rest as soon as possible. Contact me for copies or information.
One of my goals throughout this entire process was the be able to sell the book at a reasonable price that was affordable for everyone. The cost of the book is $51.95 plus tax making the total cost $55.59. This is more than I had hoped it would be! I am very sorry that the book is costing this much, but be assured that I must charge this much to cover my expenses and possibly make a very small profit. Please believe me, my goal has never been to make a large profit on this project. On a few occasions, when I have told someone the price of the book, I have seen a startled look on their face or heard a stammer in their voice. I am sorry for this, but I am not sorry for the quality or historical importance of this book.
Throughout the sports history of our community R.E. Lee football was a very important, if not the most important, component. If you will look at the older copies of The Thomaston Times and The Free Press all the way back to 1926 you will see that Lee football was front-page news. It remained that way until the program was terminated in 1991. This is very critical sports history for our community and this volume chronicles that history.
I am very proud of this book! I have worked hard on it and have put hundreds of hours into making it the best product that I could. It is a thoroughly researched historical, factual, and pictorial view of R.E. Lee football from 1953-1991. I know that there may be some mistakes, but rest assured that they are all unintentional.
I hope that every one of my readers will consider purchasing a copy this book. I know that you will enjoy sitting down and reliving some wonderful memories of Friday nights at Matthews Field with the Rebels. The games are there. The players and coaches are there. The quotes are there. The quality opponents are there. The scores are there. The championships are there. I can’t understand why any former player, coach, or true Rebel fan wouldn’t want a copy.
You’ll enjoy it! I am sure! Thanks for your support!