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July 11, 2013

Pulpwood (Candidly) Spoke

I wanted to announce that my newest UGA football book -- GAME OF MY LIFE Georgia Bulldogs -- has recently been printed and released by my publisher in New York.  For what it's worth, I can honestly say it is my favorite of the six book projects I have completed. 
 
As mentioned here before, I was granted permission to co-author the book with my father, and that made the project extra special.  Also, I was fortunate enough to sit down and interview 25 standout Bulldog players from the past, whose ages span from 22 to 91 years old, and not only hear about the "game of their life," so to speak, but also simply their life experiences in general, on and off the UGA campus, and on and off the football field.  

Notably, a conscious effort was made by us for the book to be different from the dozens of previous ones on UGA football by revealing the untold stories of a number of great players.  There have been many standout players in history to don the red and black, but unfortunately only a select number of them have been featured in a book.  As I asked my father at the beginning of the project, "Surely, even a punter has a game of his life, right?"   

These stories entertained us, and some made us laugh, while even a couple made us tear up.  Above all, the stories we were told educated and enlightened my father and I.  Our hope is that we were able to convey these accounts in the pages of the manuscript, giving each player their due.

Over the last few months, I've been asked several times which of the 25 interviews was my favorite.  Honestly, they were all so pleasing, but different, it's impossible for me to answer that.  However, thumbing through the book, I just caught a glimpse of what I believe was my favorite and perhaps the most meaningful quote from a player.

Pulpwood today -- no longer
with gasoline drawers on
Speaking of "different," I've blogged about Andre "Pulpwood" Smith before, including just after I interviewed him for the book.  He certainly gave a one-of-a-kind interview, especially in regards to his up-and-down life since flunking out of UGA following his one-hit wonder season of 1984.  Pulpwood was more than straightforward with me, including in explaining his circumstances while recovering in a hospital in 1997 after being shot in the back: "I had been through hell with gasoline drawers on and thought I might die," he declared.

Like the other two dozen accounts, Pulpwood's story has a happy ending.  He became a Christian, escaping his life of crime and drugs, while discovering there were people "out there from my past that really loved me."  Still, he admits, "I've actually had people, including some teammates, recently tell me, 'I thought you were dead!'"

The book is titled "Game of My Life," but it's just as much about the life experiences of those we once cheered for.  Some of these players still remain in the spotlight, whereas you may have not heard the names of others for years.  The experiences they share in the book span from one extreme to the other -- from the customary encounters to going to hell wearing gasoline drawers.

The book can be found at local bookstores and via online dealers, but your best bet, avoiding paying sales tax and inflated shipping charges, is to purchase the book directly from me at my online bookstore -- PatrickGarbin.org.  I sell my books at retail price and will ship all orders, whether you buy 1 or say 1,000 books, for 99 cents.  Plus, my co-author and I will happily throw in our complimentary signatures (especially if you were to purchase 1,000...).

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your father/son book project! Very cool. Some of the best projects were the summer projects with my two sons. From a two week tour of Costa Rica, rebuilding a mustang, converting all the vinyl to digital etc. those were great times and we all learned something from and about each other.
AHD

Anonymous said...

Patrick--just bought two off your site. Looking forward to reading. go dawgs!