HELLO OUT THERE to my friends new and old. Thank you for taking time to visit my website. I sincerely hope you will enjoy some of my books.
What should I say about myself?
I have written more than 25 books. The first is WSTA: Winning Social Tennis for Seniors, a great guide to enjoying and improving your tennis game. (So is my 2016 book, “10” Great Tennis Tips.) I have also written The Execution of Dreams for entrepreneurs and small-business owners; and Chasing God, about what we think about when we refer to God, full of questions of the heart. I also published the first of a series of books with humorous essays called Incidence of Stupidity, a comedic novel called The Togglemyer Epic, and six other action thrillers, The Big Eye, Three Degrees: An Apocalyptic Tale, The Stratton Formula, The Expedition, The Code Book, and The Omega Department and the UFO. I am now working on doing audiobooks of my projects that I hope to make available in the very near future.
I am a small-(but not too small)-town boy from Wheeling, West Virginia (pop. 35,000), which is about fifty miles south of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
People are surprised when they hear us talk. They expect to hear a lot of “y’all’s.” Well, we are just far enough north of the Mason-Dixon Line that, instead of “y’all,” we say “you’se guys” and call a creek a “crik.” Also, we don’t wash our cars: we “warsh” them. Get the point?
I may not be the smartest bear in town, but I was able to grub out a pretty decent living. I am the son of Reece Blair, a policeman in Wheeling for twenty-two years and then the Sheriff of our county for eight. Honesty was a pretty strong thing in our family. Except for an incident which I mention in my first book, The Execution of Dreams, that occurred when I was about seven or eight, I pretty much lived by Dad’s rules.
I had normal high school years, playing football and baseball. (My girlfriend wouldn’t let me play basketball.) I graduated along with the rest of my friends… Well, not really…
I think they may have thrown me out… Or maybe I snuck out the back door. You see, in high school I majored in sports, cars, and girls—not necessarily in that order. For those of you who are car buffs, I had a 1941 Hollywood Graham supercharged six-cylinder that I customized during my sophomore year.
I got out of high school and started college at West Liberty State College. I took test after test at first and didn’t pass a one, so I decided that college wasn’t for me. Some years later I discovered that no one else was passing those tests, either: they were designed to weed out those who really wanted a college education. Well, it worked.
I left college and joined the U.S. Air Force in 1958. There, I found my calling as a jet airplane mechanic. All those years working with my dad began to pay off—my dad was a really remarkable man.
After I spent four years in the USAF, my enlistment was up so my father and I decided to start an Automobile Radiator Repair Garage. Dad and I were off and flying in the repair business. There I was: in business. Dad let me run things, even when I was wrong. He let me make my mistakes and boy, did I make a bunch. Then, Dad stepped back, looked me square in the eye and said, “I told you so.”
But on the other hand, when I succeeded he put his fingers in his suspenders, pulled them out proudly, puffed his chest and said, “Look at my son, the Doctor.”
It wasn’t long before I was off and running in all kinds of directions. I lived by the theory that you should throw a bunch of fishing poles in the water, and then eat the biggest fish we caught.
The next addition to our cause was the Automobile Air Conditioning Business.” We did well. In fact, I was the first radiator shop in the country to be nationally certified as a heating and cooling expert.
It wasn’t too long before a series of other businesses crossed my path. I started a Gravely Tractor Agency and, later, a small excavation company that specialized in miniature equipment designed to get into spaces that big equipment could not.
I came within the eleventh hour of a deal to bring an aircraft manufacturing company to our city, which was neat because, by this time, I had gotten my pilot’s license. Not too long after that I introduced “ultrasonic sound” to the radiator industry for cleaning radiators; it is still used around the world today. Then, my Oil Cooler business took root and became our biggie. This is what led me to receive recognition as 1991 Entrepreneur of the Year in West Virginia.
For some reason, I found myself drawn toward politics. Why? I wish I knew. Was it ego? Or did I really want to help the small business people in our state, as I told everyone? I was doing pretty well in the political race for governor of West Virginia when my business caught on fire, and I had to withdraw from the race in order to rebuild it. Soon thereafter, my two sons came into the business and eventually took over. The rest is history.
I don’t think I did too badly in life! Along with my wife, I introduced four super great children into the world. (Did you notice how I didn’t take all the credit for the children?) I then started several businesses, and gave jobs and opportunities to a whole lot of young people who wanted to enter the business world. I developed a new technology for an industry that is still being used today, and received several patents on some unique items that we still manufacture to this day.
Of my four children, the two girls and their two children—we love and miss deeply, as they are living out of town, but I did succeed in bringing two of my four children to our hometown, where my wife and I enjoy the six grandchildren.
I have a nice home, a beautiful wife, and a pretty kitty that sleeps under my armpit every night.
By the way, about four years ago, at age seventy, I became nationally certified as a professional tennis coach. I play tennis four days a week and teach tennis five times a week.
I have all this and a couple cold beers in the refrigerator: What more can a person ask for?!