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Download A Shining Season: The True Story of John Baker by William J. Buchanan PDF

By William J. Buchanan

"This isn't really your ordinary account of a tender man's demise of melanoma, yet a full of life and extraordinary tale of John Baker's decision to go away scholars with newfound talents and self-confidence. . . . a amazing, uplifting tale of wish and backbone which just isn't missed."--Bookwatch

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Sample text

Later that morning John returned to the club and handed the office manager the deposit slip. "Thanks, John," the manager said. "Oh, by the way. Good news. " John's jaw dropped. Unable to contain himself, the manager began to laugh at John's dismay. Suddenly, John was surrounded by friends who joined in the laughter. His secret was out. He blushed. " Ask her he did. Small, remarkably pretty with soft brown hair and hazel eyes, and possessing a refreshing sense of humor, 23-year-old Mary Ann was a perfect match for John.

John," Hackett said during that first training meeting, in his softspoken voice, "you've had an outstanding highschool career. But you're running in a league now where everyone is outstanding. " John began a spartan routine. Each morning at dawn, spray can in hand to ward off pesky dogs, he ran through city streets, parks and golf coursestwenty-five miles a dayin addition to the regular varsity workouts. The rigorous training told. Soon, in Phoenix, Tulsa, Denver, Lubbock, Salt Lake City, wherever the Lobos competed, their fans gloried in the exploits of "Upset John" Baker, who consistently picked off top-rated runners throughout the Western Athletic Conference.

The crowd cheered wildly. What had happened on the far side of that hill? Later that evening John told his family. Halfway through the race, with things going as expected, he had asked himself: Is this my best? He didn't know. Resolutely, he fixed his eye on the back number of the front runner. He closed his mind to everything else. Only one Page 39 thing mattered: catch and pass that numberthat runner. A new energy surged through his body. It was almost hypnotic. One by one he passed the front runners, then took a commanding lead.

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