Yeah, I guess I should have written this book under a pen name, or maybe just have moved to Texas when it came out. My God, I can’t believe some of the crap I pulled during those four short years. But, hey, nobody’s perfect, and if all those goodie-two-shoes who will stick up their noses when they read this book, really told what they did in college, I’ll bet it would open some eyes.
My guess is, that you’ll read this book, and then start asking questions—just like my wife did. “Did you really do that?” Or “Who was Millie? Or “Did you really play poker all the way through college?” Or maybe you might wonder just where fiction ends and non-fiction begins? That’s a hell of a question, because as I wrote this book, I wrote both. Yes, parts of this book are non-fiction, but as any publisher will tell you, if there’s one sentence in the book that’s fiction, then the whole work is fiction. So, I’ll leave that one up to you. You decide if “Sandy” really was the rascal I made him out to be, or was “Sandy” a victim or maybe both. And when it comes to breaking and entering, or just ordinary cheating on a test, is there any difference in how you do it? Or, if a young man is desperate, is that an excuse for illegal behavior?
So, my recommendation is, for you the reader, to just sit back and not worry if this or that is fiction or non-fiction. Actually, it might be more fun to read, if you read this book as a non-fiction diary of a college rebel—which it could be—of course, one sentence of fiction, makes it a work of fiction.
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Richard Mason has always managed to incorporate writing into his accomplished life, whether writing professional reports as a geologist, books in the Sahara Desert, or columns about environmental issues. But it wasn’t until six years ago that he started writing seriously when he heard Studs Turkle remark that more writers should ‘write about life.’ Mason took this comment to heart and began writing remembrances from his childhood in the 1940’s and 50’s.
As a young boy Mason lived on a small farm in southern Arkansas. He is able to vividly capture an era of American history, before air-conditioning, television and modern technology. His writings reflect a time of brown sunburned feet, shirtless summers and very special country Christmases.
Mason earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in geology from the University of Arkansas. He worked for the King Ranch in South Texas, followed by an overseas assignment on well-sites deep in the Libyan Sahara Desert. Thirty years ago Mason started his own company, Gibraltar Energy in El Dorado, Ark. of which he is currently CEO and President.
In the early 1990’s he was the president of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation and wrote a monthly column covering state environmental issues. Mason also wrote an environmental column which ran in newspapers around the state and hosted an environmental radio show, both called Natural Solutions.
Additionally, he and his wife, Vertis, enjoy restoring historic buildings and have restored 17 buildings where they reside in El Dorado, Arkansas. As a result, the National Main Street organization named it one of the top 15 Main Street communities in the country.
Mason’s love of writing has become one of the most fulfilling things he has ever done. He reflects on his start many years ago, ‘As I think back to the time, when I sat in a hot trailer in the Libyan Desert writing my first novel, I can truly say my interest in writing, which expressed itself under such meager circumstances, continues today.