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Senior Spectrum Newspaper
June 2018
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Golden Pages
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Senior Spectrum Publications

Eclectic Observer
by Janet Ross
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Mother's Day isn't easy to ignore. 

Janet Ross
Janet Ross

Father's Day, June 17th this year, doesn't seem such a big deal; school is out, Summer officially arrives a short time later, and with it the longest day of the year. If Dad seems to take second place to Mom in the acknowledgment / buy a gift situation I offer for consideration three exceptional Dads to get to know.

Besides their roles as fathers, Rick Bragg, Rinker Buck and Scott Kelly are an exceptional trio. Kelly is an astronaut, Buck a journalist and adventurer, Bragg a Pulitzer Prize winning author. All three have produced books that inspire and amaze.

The best Cook in the World - Rick Bragg

Currently, Rick Bragg's latest book, The Best Cook in the World Tales from My Momma's Table, is getting rave reviews. A cookbook by a guy about his mother's recipes? Hardly. It's a memoir of the hardscrabble lives of generations of Bragg's family in Georgia and Alabama. Bragg's prose is at its best when he describes the life he knows so well: “On TV, Southern cooks are often portrayed mixing a julep, or staggering under a Kentucky Derby hat the size of a Fiat, or planning a wedding with antebellum gowns and at least one cannon.” … He adds, about his Momma speaking of her cooking, “People is used to different things now … but don't bring it into my kitchen.” Each chapter in this enchanting book includes a family photograph and a detailed recipe – get out the butter and bacon grease.

Bragg's other books include Ava's Man, about his maternal grandfather; The Prince of Frogtown that recounts Bragg's search for his biological father; and All Over But the Shoutin', his autobiography. If you like one, you'll enjoy all of them.

The Oregon Trail - Rinker Buck

Rinker Buck was one of eleven children born to an eccentric father (both publisher and pilot). As a teen he took to the skies along with his older brother and in late 1960 the pair made an incredible cross-country flight in a tiny Piper Cub airplane (sans radio or guidance system) from the East Coast to California. It could have been the trip of a lifetime – and Buck tells the story in Flight of Passage – but Buck tops that with another brother trip.

This time it was an adventure with his mule handling brother, and the pair headed West with a wagon and mule team to follow what they could find of the original Oregon Trail. The resulting book, The Oregon Trail: a New American Journey, offers the armchair traveler an experience like few others. Buck is currently writing another adventure book and this time he's on the water – watch for it.

Endurance - Scott Kelly

Astronaut Scott Kelly is an identical twin whose book, Endurance – A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery, is a memoir of his entire life to date, plus all those fascinating details of his accomplishments as a astronaut.

Kelly's twin was the more focused of the two. Scott floundered for a few years before following his brother to the US Navy and NASA. The details of a year in space and the unexpected aftermath (physically and mentally) are fascinating. It's an inspirational read for everyone.

Consider a book as a gift for your special guy this Father's Day and expect to read it yourself, after he does. To all the Dads, exceptional or ordinary, we extend our best wishes for a long and happy life.