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Waking Up in the Studebaker by Kevin L. Gray

Waking Up in the Studebaker
by Kevin Gray
World Audience Publishers at

Paola, Kansas, Aug. 30, 2008 – Waking Up in the Studebaker is the memoir of Kevin Gray, who proudly came of age in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia, and who captures an era, right or wrong.

Gray, a Paola, Kansas, resident and Richmond, Virginia, native, taught English and journalism at Paola High School in Paola, Kansas, for 30 years, as well as Fort Scott [KS] Community College Composition courses for 28, has released his memoir, book one of two. Gray is currently a staff writer and photographer for the Miami County News Service located in Paola, Kansas, and serving the Miami County Republic, the Osawatomie Graphic and the Louisburg Herald.

Starting with his earliest memories in the 1950s, he covers a lot of ground – including impressions about racism in the former Capital of the Confederacy. Teen music and rites from the late 1950s drew him in by age 10. He offers personal insights on Vietnam, music and the drug culture, and the turbulent times right into 1968.

Gray admits, “I thought America the greatest place on the face of this earth to grow up in, but, then, I realized my color (white), my religion (Methodist) and my parents’ middle-class income helped. Then, I wasn’t so sure.” A tour of rundown neighborhoods two blocks from the U.S. capital had him very confused about age 10.

Asthma and an extreme shyness when indoors, affected him, but an overriding act-first-think-later attitude actually drove the boy. He also admits, “Life could be pretty boring and quite confusing for a suburban kid in those days. I didn’t live in New York or San Francisco or any of those exciting places. I had to make my own fun and my own life well away from places in the news. The 1960s really weren’t what they were cracked up to be in the media – that is for a kid stuck far from any “happening place.” At least we had the music!

Yet, in so many ways, events in both the 1950s and the 1960s reached out and made an impact on people nationwide, even to a young boy growing up in Richmond.” Waking Up in the Studebaker is Gray’s very personal story set during changing times in America.

“This is my story,” he said, “and, more than anything, I didn’t want help in whatever I did. I had to live my life my way, even if it gave me many bruises along the way.”

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