8 Day Book Update and News

It has been a busy time at 22 Curiosity Lane. A week ago yesterday 1/31/2015, I had my first book signing at R.J. Julia in Madison, CT. Jenny, Dorothy, Stan and Laurie Pinover, and the staff pitched in, organized and catered a very well-attended event. (More than 70 people in the crowd!!) I spoke a bit and read 3 chapters. Jenny helped conduct a writing exercise with great success.

Jenny reports a firsthand sighting “The Rogue’s Road To Retirement” on the bookshelves of Barnes and Noble in Union Square in NYC, and in Westport, CT. I’m scheduled to be interviewed on ABC’s affiliate in New Haven WTNH later this week. (The piece will be taped — will let you know when it is due to air.) Amazon and Walmart.com (and some Walmart stores) are also stocking the book.

I have five additional signings arranged through March with several more scheduled for later this summer on Long Island. From dead in the water to all ahead flank, this has been a wonderful trip. The best is yet to come.

Many of you have been kind enough to ask how you can help. I would really appreciate it if you could take the time to share your thoughts about the book on the following websites. It helps readers who don’t know anything about The Rogue’s Road to Retirement decide to take the plunge and give it a whirl. If you are moved to review The Rogue in a sentence or two, you can do so at the following links!!!

Amazon website (scroll half-way down page to customer reviews)

Barnes & Noble website (scroll half-way down page to customer reviews)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rogues-road-to-retirement-george-s-k-rider/1120667858?ean=9781629147666

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20702876-the-rogue-s-road-to-retirement?from_search=true

Thanks to all who have helped along the way! I thank you, my family thanks you and Marybeth our cat thanks you!

Best,

George

The Rogue at Barnes & Noble in Union Square, NYC, February 2015

The Rogue at Barnes & Noble in Union Square, NYC, February 2015

The Rogue at Barnes & Noble in Westport, CT Feb. 2015

The Rogue at Barnes & Noble in Westport, CT Feb. 2015

The Rogue Reporting In…!

Hi everyone, hope your 2015 is fun and full of mischief so far. I want to thank you all for being so supportive of the launch of The Rogue’s Road to Retirement. It’s been quite a ride, and we’re just getting started.

Our big news is that I am giving my first reading – our official launch! – next Saturday at the famous R.J. Julia book store in Madison, CT… a wonderful and influential independent bookstore in the area. Please come, one and all, if you can. The reading starts at 2pm on 1/31. Please RSVP at the following link, as we will be having a reception (wine will be served!) and want to make sure we have ample adult beverages at hand. http://www.rjjulia.com/event/george-rider-rogues-road-retirement

The book is also starting to get covered by the media. The Hartford Courant had a nice mention this week:

http://www.courant.com/features/hc-write-stuff-0125-20150125-story.html#page=1

And our great local paper The Shoreline Times interviewed me. Stay tuned… I’ll send the article around when it’s out.

We’ve had some terrific reader reviews on The Rogue’s Amazon.com page. Here are the latest two:

“I guess I should quit whining and start wineing! This book gives me something to look forward to, fun and moving, kind of what I hope I am when I hit George’s age!” – Michael W. Morse

“George’s positive attitude is contagious. He shares his experiences with a perfect balance between wisdom and wit.” – Bob

If you’d like to give a review, you can do so at the following websites. Much appreciated!

Link to Amazon page

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rogues-road-to-retirement-george-s-k-rider/1120667858?ean=9781629147666

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20702876-the-rogue-s-road-to-retirement?from_search=true

The Rogue is also out and about on social media. Thanks to everyone for “liking” the book’s Facebook page. We have almost 350 followers. Yeah! And I’ve learned to tweet! Who knew? You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Woof!

But perhaps the most fulfilling part of this whole experience is the opportunity it’s given me to reconnect with so many friends from so many different periods of my life. Thank you so much for your support – I am overwhelmed by the calls and emails I’ve received wishing me luck with The Rogue’s Road and cheering me on. I sincerely hope that I can help you as you pursue your big dreams as much as you’ve helped me… one thing I’ve learned at this time in my life is this: seize the day and go for it. I’m living proof you can make any crazy pipedream come true if you have the right attitude, an extraordinarily patient wife and family, and a great escape hatch (thank you, Black Seal!).

Enjoy your weekend and THANK YOU, The Rogue!

Launch Day!!

A book is born!! The Rogue’s Road To Retirement officially launches today. Ta-Dah! How exciting. I got out of bed this morning at 5:30 AM. The house was like a mausoleum. The temperature outside was a bone-chilling 12 degrees.

I moved quickly to my freezing office, turning on lights and cranking the heat way up. Thank God for my extra heavy robe and slippers. I’ve been waiting for this day to dawn since July 2013.

I fully expected that I would look out my office window to see a stretch limo in our driveway parked and ready to whisk me to New York in time for breakfast with my editors and the publisher, followed by the mid-town ticker tape parade with open touring cars for me and all the other authors who share the same launch date. I even envisioned the brass band and the Dallas Cowboy’s cheerleaders prancing behind, while overhead two Piper Cubs were flying trailing signs with my book title emblazoned on both sides.

Was I expecting too much? Who me?

It’s now 8:19. No limo! Not even an email. Dorothy just refilled my coffee cup. Jenny’s arrived to help set up some media interviews later in the week. The morning’s been quiet, but it’s still one of the best days of my life – and I am so grateful to everyone who has helped me get here. (Thank you, you know who you are!) Now I’m going back to bed for while, for a long winter’s nap. The fireworks and hoopla will have to wait for a while – this Rogue has had enough excitement for one day!

Thanks! George

Rogue’s Road Audiobook – listen to free sample :)

Hi everyone,

Need a laugh? The audiobook for The Rogue’s Road to Retirement just came out (if you prefer audio to hard copies). You can listen to a fun sample of it at the link below, and/or order it below – it comes in a digital format you can download onto your computer and then burn it onto a CD if you so desire: (I can’t believe I vaguely understand what all this technical stuff means — you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Woof!)

http://www.audible.com/pd/Nonfiction/Rogues-Road-to-Retirement-Audiobook/B00R38QM7M?source_code=AUDORWS1218149C1Q&

The actor who voiced the audiobook was great to work with. Thank you, Allan!

“Allan Robertson has narrated a wide variety of nonfiction titles covering such diverse areas of interest as economics, politics, science, history, and philosophy. Erich Fromm’s You Shall Be as Gods is a highlight. He has also narrated fiction covering genres from modern poetic reinterpretation of ancient classics to contemporary fantasy novels. He has narrated biographies of Charles Darwin, John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt, and the golf savant Homer Kelly. Robertson is an accomplished stage actor with extensive credits in classical theater and new works.”

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season full of family, friends and all sorts of roguish fun. Ho! Ho!

Thank you, George

Santa Goes Rogue

Two days ago the date was 12/13/14. A similar sequence will not take place again for 20 years. But there’s another date looming larger on my radar-scope – 1/6/2015 – the day of my book release. “THE ROGUE’S ROAD TO RETIREMENT” will be christened and launched!

For last minute Christmas shoppers here’s a thought. You can preorder the book at the links below for your long-in-the-tooth loved one, and it will show up just in time for that blissful period after your kids and grandkids and granddogs have gone home, and you can sit by the fire in peace, sipping Scotch without anyone lecturing you on your health or “setting a good example” for the young ones (as though they haven’t already proven they’re utterly untrainable after descending like swarms of locusts and eating every crumb in the house and reprogramming every remote control), and you can read uninterrupted and with abandon. Why not read about the mischievous misadventures of a fellow comrade-in-arms in the war against getting old and decrepit and—worst of all, BORING.

This posting was approved by “The Jury Of My Peers,” Dorothy, Jenny, and Heather, Chris and Shelly at the Black Seal!

Thanks and best,

George

Link to Amazon:

Link to Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rogues-road-to-retirement-george-s-k-rider/1120667858?ean=9781629147666&isbn=9781629147666

Six Weeks ‘Til Showtime!!

Hi everyone! I have not abandoned my blog. Quite the contrary, I have incorporated some of the entries in my soon-to-be-published book, “The Rogue’s Road To Retirement.” We are now in the final phase of publishing. The release date is 1/6/2015. The edits are complete, and we have received the printed manuscript and cover design.

What a process! Now the fun begins. The audio book folks have been in touch and have chosen a terrific actor to narrate it. I am enclosing a link to Skyhorse Publishing’s book description and a look at the book jacket, as well as a link to where you can buy the book on Amazon.

My daughter Jenny is helping me gear up with my agent and editor for the sales part of the process. Jenny has become quite the “stage daughter,” telling me to slim down and “stay on message.” My son-in-law, who is a great guy, is supporting me at every turn – and building me my own website! If anyone has an idea for readings and signings, please get in touch. Your suggestions will be much appreciated.

I’m working on another book in the meantime. This has been and continues to be a thrill at every turn.

Thanks to all of you for all of your help and support.

Best,
George “The Red Rogue”

http://www.skyhorsepublishing.com/book/?GCOI=60239102063270&

God Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform and Veterans Everywhere!

As we celebrate the glories of our military this holiday weekend and the sacrifices of those no longer with us who have given so much to make and keep us safe and free, let us not overlook the disgrace that has been visited upon our wounded veterans by those in high places ignoring their plight and failing to offer them the proper medical treatment and care they deserve.

One month ago Dorothy, daughter Jennifer and I were privileged to participate in: “AN EVENING TO HONOR LCDR ERIK KRISTENSEN, USN, SEAL, ANDOVER ‘91″ in honor of Andover’s only alumnus killed in action during the War on Terror. The story of the two-day event is a treasure of memories shared with his parents, SEALS, alumni, students and faculty. (see below)

Let’s not let the transgressions of our elected officials dim or tarnish the memories of our veterans, but rather resolve to remember the Names, Faces and Contact information of those who would stand in the way of immediate and appropriate action to care for our wounded — and urge them to take the proper action!!

Best, George

 

“48” IN HONOR OF ERIK KRISTENSEN 

In the Navy, a short weekend is referred to as a “48” (hours). We departed home, Essex, CT, at noon 4/24 arriving at the Andover Inn at 3:PM and would not return until 3:PM 4/26.

The invitation for the event read, “AN EVENING TO HONOR, Non Sibi Role Model Erik Kristensen’91, a signature event of Non Sibi Weekend.” The weekend is a yearly event in which Andover students and Andover Alumni in near and far places engage in projects to help others and better communities in every conceivable way.

LCDR Erik Kristensen, USN, SEAL, PA’91 is the only Andover alumnus killed in action in the War on Terror. Erik was killed along with 7 SEALS and 8 Army Night Stalkers while selflessly leading an operation to save other SEALs trapped in an intense battle during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush in 2005. Their Chinook Helicopter took a hit from an RPG. The recent film “Lone Survivor” chronicled the courageous Red Wings mission (and was screened Friday evening on the Andover campus). Erik is one of the movie’s main characters. The day honoring Erik would be the first all-school event conceived and driven by the Andover and the Military, an affinity group of the Andover Alumni Council.

The drive up to Andover, on a bright, brisk spring afternoon was uneventful except for the expectation of events to come and the slight apprehension of keeping to the strictly prescribed timetable. Friday would be a whirlwind of events crammed into the day starting with a 7:30 breakfast with students and SEALS. At Andover there is a strict curfew. All students must be checked in to their rooms by 10:PM. The curfew dictated the time constraints under which the event committee had to operate in order for the students to participate in all the day’s events.                                      

Plans are one thing. Executing them is another. PA alumni guru Jenny Savino’s genius for imaginative planning and seamless execution,  and her ability to sell the solutions was put to the test. In spite of some choppy water, the game plan passed with flying colors. Nothing went awry. The timing was as crisp as any Military evolution and nothing was left to chance. We even had help from beyond. The day was cloudless and bright!

Dorothy and I attended a special dinner on arrival Thursday with core members of the Committee, Harry Flynn’75; Christine Balling’86; Jennifer Savino, officially knows as the Assistant Director, Alumni Engagements and Director of External Relations; Navy SEALs Marcus Rivchin and Ryan Rico and his wife Iordanka Slavov (both SEALs are among a handful who also qualified as SWCC Operators – Special Warfare Craft Crewmen or “Boat Guys;” Harry Flynn, Sr., ’48; and Christopher Capano, Andover’s Coordinator of Special Student Activities. Marcus and Ryan set a tone at dinner that would resonate throughout the two days and be enhanced and embellished as the ranks of participants grew.

Two words would be heard time and again in speeches, conversations at meals and small talk among all present from that first dinner to meals and bar gatherings well into the nights: FAMILY! and TEAM!

Two Latin phrases appear on Andover’s Seal, forged by Paul Revere 4/5/1782 for which he was paid 2 pounds, 8 shillings: Finis Origine Pendet, “The end depends on the beginning” and Non Sibi, “Not for self.” It is not a stretch to take from those words the meaning of FAMILY and TEAM.

7:30 AM Friday – Special guests and SEALs had breakfast with students at the Paresky Commons. Admiral and Erik’s mother, Mrs. Kristensen, arrived at noon in time for the 1:00 luncheon at the Inn as more SEALs, rowing crewmates and friends from The Naval Academy, Gonzoga High School, and Andover began to arrive.

3:00 PM- We caravanned in several cars to the Brown Boat House on the Merrimack River for a tour and special presentation of oar paddles on which Erik’s name was inscribed. The Kristensens were photographed reading a special plaque in the main reception room honoring Erik’s service. Dale Hurley presented Andover Crew hats to the SEALs, and Erik’s friends and crewmates. Harry Flynn ’75 spearheaded this effort.

4:45 PM- We returned and gathered at Memorial Place in time for the touching 5:00pm Memorial Service. Commander Robert Patrick ’88, Deputy Executive Assistant to The Chief of Naval Operations, described the significance of the WWI Memorial Bell Tower and the meaning of the gathering. Reverend Anne Gardner called for a moment of silence, “Please join me for a moment of silence to remember our fallen comrade.” The Bell rang twice with an 8 second interval. Rear Admiral Thomas L. Brown II remarked on the meaning of service and duty. The choir sang The Navy Hymn, joined by the hundreds of students, SEALs, faculty and guests, as the sun began to settle behind the Bell Tower directly in front of us, against the backdrop of a crystal clear blue sky.

5:30 PM- Dinner was served in the Commons. Reverend Anne Gardner said grace. We were seated at a table with The Khristensens, Head of School John Palfrey, Medal of Honor recipient Thomas ’43 and Mrs. Hudner, Tom Beaton ’73, Alumni Trustee and President of the Alumni Council, Commander Rob Patrick ’88, Harry Flynn ’48, Harry Flynn ’75, Marcus Rivchin, and Ryan and Mrs. Rico.

Alumni Council President Tom Beaton opened the program and introduced Andover seniors Greer Sallick ’14 and Elizabeth Kemp ’14. They explained the Operation Hawkeye t-shirt they and other students were wearing that were being sold to fund a scholarship established for Andover Summer Session to be awarded to the son or daughter of a veteran whose parent served or was serving in the military. Harry Flynn ’75 also spearheaded the t-shirt effort by coordinating Andover students with their counterparts at Gonzaga High School, Washington, D.C., from which Erik graduated before spending senior year at Andover.

Operation Hawkeye began when Will Thomas age 11 from McLean, VA, learned of the crash of a Chinook helicopter 8/6/2011 in Afghanistan killing 30 soldiers, including 8 Afghan soldiers and a military dog. Will was outside shooting baskets with his Dad and asked him what he could do to help. His dad suggested shooting baskets in return for donations. Will named the effort “Operation Hawkeye” after the loyal pet of one of the victims. At the soldier’s funeral the dog refused to leave the casket. Will didn’t stop shooting until he reached $50,000 having shot 20,317 baskets and admitting that he was a little sore. This years goal is $310,000, $10,000 for each soldier and the dog that died in the helicopter crash. With permission, Andover adapted his t-shirt idea and modified the design to raise money for a Summer Session scholarship. 

Charlie Dean ’79, West Point ’82, editor of “The Blue Guidon,” the newspaper of Andover, and the Military thought of and raised funds for the striking of a lapel pin designed with Andover’s crest for Andover’s Veterans. He explained the pins and asked Rob Patrick to present the first pin to Admiral Kristensen. Each Andover Veteran then stood and received his pin from an Andover student. Harry Flynn pinned his proud Dad. Harry Sr. and I were roommates on the USS Preston (DD- 795) in 1955. It was Harry’s first trip back to campus since 1947.

6:30 PM- The Cochran Chapel program began. As we took our seats, a riveting loop of pictures was shown on three side by side screens at the front of the Chapel depicting Erik, his SEAL mates, football and crewmates, family, and friends and pictures of the BUDS training rigors.

Co-student Presidents Junius Williams ’14 and Clark Perkins ’14 opened the program and recognized all the veterans present. They introduced Head of School John Palfrey. John recognized Admiral and Mrs. Kristensen and provided a warm welcome to all in attendance. He then read a very moving letter from President George H. W. Bush. Commander Rob Patrick then read an equally moving letter from President George W. Bush.

The Kristensens were invited to the podium. John Palfrey and Rob Patrick presented them with the framed letters. All 1000 plus stood and applauded. Mrs. Kristensen then read a letter from Ben Smith, one of Erik’s Andover classmates, about their son. Admiral Kristensen read a letter from a fellow SEAL. Again all 1000 plus stood and applauded as they retuned to their front row pew. The beautiful Fidelio choir led us in singing America.

6:45 PM- The movie Lone Survivor began.

8:45 PM- A lively Q&A with 5 of the Navy SEALS was moderated by Commander Patrick, Christine Balling ’86 and Harry Flynn ’75.

Much as Erik’s life was way too short, what he accomplished in his short time will be forever remembered. A new sense of family was created among the planners, the SEALS, and Erik’s family and friends. The students had a first hand look at life, service, duty and sacrifice from a different perspective.

I have never been prouder of my country, my school, my family, and being part of Andover and the Military. My never-ending admiration for Erik, understanding his sacrifice and seeing where his strength and values came from — Admiral and Mrs. Kristensen — will stay with me always. I thank them for the example they have set for all of us.  

George S.K. Rider

 

  

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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