8/3/2012 8:12:41 PM
When announcing my retirement from union office, the most common question posed was what did I intend to do. My pat answer was that I planned to write a book chronicling 53 years of service. After several months of personal adjustment, I began the task of recording events in my life that over the past 53 years was dominated by my association with postal employees. Several years ago, I researched my ancestral tree and envisioned how wonderful it would have been if my ancestors had reduced to a written record their personal life experiences, the good and the bad, that my generation could appreciate their challenges and success. As an African American, there is a special history of the struggle from slavery and state sponsored discrimination; these were real human beings who not only engaged in the day to day challenges of life but made contributions to the progress that occurred over time. I was determined to leave a written recording of my time and how it influenced who I became.
In that postal employment dominated my adult years, I had rich material to describe my journey through life. I interacted with hundreds of thousands of individuals, each who had a story to tell and who served to add to the rich experiences of my life. My generation was special as we engaged in wars; invented the computer; cured polio; landed on the moon; made air travel routine; ended state sponsored discrimination and made breathtaking progress on many other fronts. My generation had a foot in both worlds and I wanted to record the transition.Stu Filbey, Jim Rademaker, Vince Sombrotto and Moe Biller built the foundation that I used to enrich the lives of postal employees; through their efforts millions of postal employees and their families have benefited. Homes have been purchased, children educated, medical conditions attended to and a host of other benefits achieved from postal employment. I played an important role in these advancements and this book chronicles our success.
As a normal human being, I made my share of mistakes along the way and I attempt to put them in perspective relative to my continuing objective of improving the lives of postal employees. I have had a long career of recording messages so the process of putting pen to paper was as expected, but the surprise was the flood of memories of people and events. There were so many individual postal employees who played a role in my travel from there to here.
The book has now been completed and I am in the editing phase with the selected Publishing Company, Brown Books. The process has been surprisingly intricate with two levels of editing, content pages, forward, index, cover design, pictures and a host of other fine points that I was unaware of. The target sale date is December. The book will be available in hardback and as an E-book and will be sold in multiple forums -eBay, Amazon, book stores, and of course on the Burrus Journal website.
It has been an exhiliarating experience, but I do not know if I will ever again invade the domain of the writing profession. I have recorded My Journey and I hope to share that experience.