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The author was born and raised in a small, rural community in southern Minnesota. While the book, Lexington Glory Days, is a work of fiction, there are in it small elements of truth. The small community he grew up in had a quaint church that his mother took him and his brothers and sisters to religiously every Sunday morning. While he was growing up, along with the church, the small community had a lake, two bars and an old dancehall. The old pavillion held memories for generations of people. When he was younger, him and a friend of his would go swimming in the lake and then go back to the old dancehall where they had a pool table and they’d spend time playing pinball.
The old dancehall, built around 1932, holds many memories for his whole family and a lot of other families as well. It was the meeting place for a lot of people for 90 years or so. It was where young lovers met and fell in love, guys could go after work and have a beer and a hamburger, or go camping or dancing when a band was scheduled to play. It was wonderful to grow up in a place where so many people would come.
“I went to school in a small town in southern Minnesota where I graduated high school. The following fall I enrolled in college where I hoped to one day study law. During my second year things started to not go well, so I transferred to a different college, hoping to turn things around. As much as I wanted to go to school and learn and still, hopefully, one day study law, I fell into the same old patterns, and eventually quit.
I took odd jobs trying to make money and a career out of something. Eventually I wound up doing maintenace for a couple of major hotels near Minneapolis until the Great Recession of 2008. I was fired from my job and couldn’t find anyone who was hiring for anything. I struggled for a few years until I got a union job at a cement company, where I was laid off in the winter time.
With all the free time in the world to do something, and nothing to do, nor money to do it with, I decided to start writing. I had a pen and some paper at least. Once I began writing the story of ‘Lexington Glory Days,’ it almost began to write itself. From there it was the matter of polishing it, and editing it.
As I write this I can’t help but have thoughts of my dear mother. She just passed away a few days ago and we mourned and celebrated her life and spirit just yesterday. She died June 11, 2014 at approximately 9:18 pm. She was 88. She had been going to dialysis 3 days a week for about four years and had a heart valve that was getting smaller and smaller on the inside, letting less and less blood through. She was in the hospital for a weak where they were doing dialysis everyday, to try to get the fluids and water out of her that had begun building up around her heart and lungs, and to give her options about what could be done about the blocked heart valve. She declined any help or fix to the heart valve. I picked her up at the hospital Thursday evening and brought her home to her apartment at an assisted living home. The next morning, Friday, she had a lot of trouble getting out of bed by herself. Friday was one of her three days that she needed to go to dialysis. She’d made up her mind she wasn’t going to go to dialysis that day, or any other day for that matter. She had taken herself off dialysis. The thing that was keeping her alive.
She was ready to let the Good Lord take her. And less than a week later He did. She died at her home, after a long stream of friends, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren had come to say their good bye’s. Nurses gave her pain medication which made her groggy in her last few days. But she could hear us, and talk to us a little, although she was getting very tired. Occassionally someone would get a small laugh out of her or make her smile. She was on hospice care.
She will be dearly, dearly missed by the many family she left behind, and the friends who always said how nice, and kind hearted she was. It was an honor to know this woman, who went through some very hard challenges during her life time, and who remained very nice and kind, and gracious and humble until the very end. Someone had said, ‘if your level of kindness were the speed that determined how fast you made it to heaven, she would have been there a long time already.’
I am a new author that never before this, has been published. I’ve loved reading since I was a small child. The enjoyment I get when the writing is really good, makes me want to write even more, and challenges me to find out what other interesting story lines and plots I can come up with. Thank you for your interest, and I hope I can stand up to the level of reading that makes a book worthwhile.” Steven.
Mr. Reak enjoys playing cards with his family, playing the guitar, and being outside near the water.
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