Keep A-Goin: The Life of Lone Star Dietz

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Tuxedo Press, 2006 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 356 pages
Until age 15, Billy Dietz thought he was the natural son of a prominent white couple in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Overhearing the woman who raised him reveal part of the secret of his birth during an argument with his father started the young athlete and artist on an odyssey of selfdiscovery that took him to the St. Louis Worlds Fair, Carlisle Indian Industrial School, the Rose Bowl and the heights of the football coaching profession. The secret of his birth became a principal issue in his sensational draft evasion trial after WWI. This book is the story of his rise and fall and how he kept a-goin in spite of what had happened to him.Lone Star Dietz was one of the most colorful and capable personalities in college footballs fabled past, and Tom Benjey has made a major contribution to the games written history with this long-overdue biography on Dietz. Ray Schmidt College Football Historical Society Tom Benjey has written engagingly about the life and times of Lone Star Dietz, a notable football player and coach during the first half of the past century. It is a fascinating tale of a skillful player and innovative coach who made significant contributions to the game that framed his life. Benjeys work, however, is much more than an interesting sports story. It is a penetrating examination of triumphs and tragedies in the life of a man confronted with daunting social and cultural obstacles.Benjeys biography of Lone Star Dietz is full of insights about one mans search for personal identity in a complex and confounding socio-cultural context. As such, it is a memorable American story. John J. Patrick Professor Emeritus of Education Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana A masterful job! As a lawyer I have to say Benjey has drawn from so many resources, put them together and told a compelling story. John Vorperian Host, BEYOND THE GAME

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About the author (2006)

On the surface it might appear that nothing Tom Benjey has done previous to writing Keep A-goin: the life of Lone Star Dietz has prepared him for such a task. On the other hand everything he had done before may have readied him for the project. He grew up in a home of modest means in a small town in downstate Illinois where he operated the family bicycle shop business while in high school. He was awarded a scholarship to Northwestern University but attended for just one year due to not being prepared for the academic rigor. After maintaining the weapons control system on F-102 aircraft (the type of plane flown by President Bush in the Texas Air Guard) in the Philippines, Viet Nam and Thailand, Sergeant Benjey, taking advantage of the GI Bill, enrolled at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Almost a decade after earning his B.S. in Mathematics he completed an M.S. in Computer Science at Shippensburg State College. Utilizing his decade of software development experience he operated a systems house in the 1980s. Timing the opportunity to live abroad without a war on to coincide perfectly with the fall of the Berlin Wall, he taught computer studies for the University of Maryland European Division for two years. After that he completed a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at Indiana University.Tom and his wife (and research assistant), Ann, share a Pennsylvania German limestone farmhouse with their cat, Ryan. The unspoiled feline allows them to live in his house as a reward for their efforts in restoring it for him. The accidental activists honed their research skills in a 3 year fight to protect their community from the proposed Monster Warehouses project that recently ended with an unconditional victory.

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