From Chicken Soup for the Father & Son Soul


Robert Anderson lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and son. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2005 and still dreams of the ocean. Robert currently works for UHP Projects and enjoys his work. Robert can be reached at [email protected]

David Avrin is a marketing/branding consultant and an inspirational speaker. A part-time writer, he is the author of the popular book The Gift in Every Day: Little Lessons on Living a Big Life (2006 Sourcebooks). David’s humorous and heartwarming presentations help audiences reflect, reconnect, and refuel. David can be reached at [email protected]

Aaron Bacall has graduate degrees in organic chemistry and educational administration and supervision from New York University. He has been a pharmaceutical research chemist, college department coordinator, college instructor, and cartoonist. His work has appeared in most national publications, and he has been a contributor to several cartoon collections. His work has been used for advertising, greeting cards, wall calendars and several corporate promotional books. Three of his cartoons are featured in the permanent collection at the Harvard Business School’s Baker Library. He continues to create and sell his cartoons. Aaron can be reached at [email protected]

Frederick Bakowski retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons and is a member of the Emerald Coast Writers of Northwest Florida. He writes on a wide variety of subjects, including inspirational, nostalgic, and the paranormal. He enjoys falconry and Nathan’s Coney Island hotdogs. Frederick can be reached at [email protected]

Carl Ballenas is an award-winning teacher at Immaculate Conception School, Jamaica Estates, New York. As town historian, he coauthored books on Richmond Hill, New York, and Maple Grove Cemetery. He moderates his school’s Aquinas Honor Society, which wrote the highly acclaimed Jacob Riis historical children’s book, Jacob’s Gift. Carl can be reached at [email protected]

Peter M. Balsino is a freelance writer and attorney living in Tucson, Arizona, with his wife and three children. He writes and speaks about lifestyle and simplification issues, and continues to strive to find the perfect balance between work and family life. He is available for writing and speaking. Peter can be reached at [email protected]

Melissa Moreau Baumann is a freelance author living in Chesapeake, Virginia. Matt is a Digital Media major at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. This story is dedicated to the entire Moreau family, especially Katie Moreau—our amazing mother, grandmother, and friend. Melissa can be reached at [email protected]

Martin Bucella is a full-time freelance cartoonist/humorous illustrator whose work has been published over 100,000 times through magazines, newspapers, greeting cards, books, the Internet, and more. To find out more about Marty’s work, please visit

John P. Buentello is a teacher and writer. He is currently studying for a Ph.D. in English Literature. He is the coauthor of the novel Reproduction Rights and the short story collection Binary Tales. He writes for adults and children and is currently at work on a novel. John can be reached at [email protected]

Martha Campbell is a graduate of Washington University of St. Louis School of Fine Arts and a former writer/designer for Hallmark Cards. She has been a freelance cartoonist and book illustrator since 1973. Martha can be reached at P.O. Box 2538, Harrison, AR 72602, or call 870-741-5323, or e-mail [email protected]

Tracy Crump lives in Mississippi with her husband, Stan. They homeschooled Brian (26) and Jeremy (22) for eleven years. Stan still enjoys his sons’ company whenever possible, though paintball is the game of choice now. Tracy is a freelance writer and has published numerous articles. Tracy can be reached at [email protected]

Carl Dennison is a freelance writer from the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982. Carl enjoys reading, writing, gardening, photography, and spending time with his wife, Lou Ann.

Ted Diamond is a small-animal veterinarian and heretofore unpublished author. His wife Robin, who wrote for Chicken Soup for the Mother and Son Soul prompted him to tell this story. When he is not helping animals get healthy, Ted enjoys spending time with Robin and their three children, Jillian, Spencer and Jordan.

Bob Dickson is a professional writer from Southern California, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. He’s written for the LA Daily News, Santa Clarita’s The Signal, the LA Times newspaper group, and several magazines. He also teaches writing at The Master’s College. Bob can be reached at [email protected]

Julie McMaine Evans, a Kentucky native and writer/PR consultant, sometimes writes about environmental issues. Her first husband, Wilton Accola, died in 1994 when an ice-laden limb fell on his car. She, son, David Accola, and husband, Jeffrey Evans, can be reached at [email protected]

Dedicated to making a difference, Susan Farr-Fahncke is the creator of and the founder of the amazing volunteer group Angels2TheHeart. She is the author of the beloved Angel’s Legacy and has stories featured in numerous Chicken Soup books. To learn more about Susan, or to sign up for one of her online writing workshops, please visit

Matthew Favreault grew up in Massachusetts, the youngest of five children. He landed in Eugene, Oregon, in 1995. He and his wife have three children. He hopes that Danielle, Jacob, and Misha will be inspired by the lessons that come from taking a walk with their dad.

Win Firman is a retiree after many active years in business, interrupted by three years as a bomb disposal officer in World War II. His volunteer work includes school board president, scoutmaster, and Little League president. Happily married for sixty-six years, Win has eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

After a thirty-five year career in education, Dorothy Fletcher is presently enjoying her life of writing, motorcycle riding, and grandmothering. Her three books include The Week of Dream Horses, The Cruelest Months, and Zen Fishing and Other Southern Pleasures. To learn more about Dorothy, please visit

John Forrest retired after thirty-four years as an educator and began writing about the exceptional events and wonderful people who have enriched his life. His story “The Gift of Time” was published in Chicken Soup for the Christmas Soul (2007). He lives in Orillia, Ontario, Canada, with his wife, Carol.

Sally Friedman, a frequent contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul, is delighted to share her life with her husband, Victor, three daughters and sons-in-law, and seven grandchildren. She lives in Moorestown, New Jersey, and contributes to regional and national publications with her family as her inspiration. Sally can be reached at [email protected]

Michael Fulton lives with his high school sweetheart, Marla, in the same neighborhood where they grew up. They have four children who are all active in sports. Michael has coached up to five teams a year in soccer, softball, and baseball since 1999. Daughters Ashley (age 19) and Amanda (age 17) are now coaching as well.

William Garvey (Bill) works as a damage prevention supervisor for a major Michigan utility. Bill lives for his family, loves writing, photography, auto restoration, and gardening. He is working on his first book about his inspirational journey of becoming a writer. To learn more about Bill, please visit, or he can be reached at [email protected]

Scott Gill is a pastor and freelance writer. He lives with his wife, Angela, and his four children in Rockwall, Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Memphis and Dallas Theological Seminary. He is currently studying writing for children through the Institute of Children’s Literature.

Nancy Kay Grace is an inspirational writer and speaker for women’s retreats and conferences. This is her second Chicken Soup for the Soul story. Nancy lives in northwest Arkansas, where her husband is a senior pastor. Please visit her website at

Bonnie Compton Hanson is author of several books for adults and children, including the popular Ponytail Girls series, plus hundreds of published articles and poems (twenty-four are included in Chicken Soup for the Soul books). She also speaks to MOPS, seniors, schools, and women’s groups, and she leads writing seminars. Bonnie can be reached at [email protected] .

Patrick Hardin is a freelance cartoonist whose work appears in a variety of books and periodicals in the United States and abroad. He resides in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan–Flint, where he earned degrees in philosophy and psychology. Patrick can be reached at [email protected]

Charles E. Harrel pastored for thirty years before stepping down to pursue writing. He has over 160 published works. His stories and devotionals have appeared in eight books, including The Embrace of a Father, Cup of Comfort Devotional, and Christian Miracles. Charles enjoys teaching, playing guitar, and family camping trips.

Jonny Hawkins dedicates the cartoons in this book to his cousin Faith—who lives by her name—and her wonderful husband, Steve . . . and their rainbow of adopted children. Jonny’s works, such as “Medical Cartoon-A-Day” and “Fishing Cartoon-A-Day” calendars, along with A Joke a Day Keeps the Doctor Away, are available everywhere. Jonny can be reached at [email protected]

Sherry Honeycutt Hatfield is a children’s author and a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. She has also written for several Christian publications. Sherry and her loving husband are the parents of six precious children. She includes her maiden name in her pen name to honor her parents.

Louis A. Hill, Jr. authored three books and many articles. He earned a Ph.D. in structural engineering, designed bridges and buildings, and joined the engineering faculty at Arizona State University. He retired an Emeritus Dean of Engineering from the University of Akron. He is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Miriam Hill is coauthor of Fabulous Florida and a frequent contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She’s been published in the Christian Science Monitor, Grit, St. Petersburg Times, and Poynter Online. Miriam’s manuscript received Honorable Mention for Inspirational Writing in the 75th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.

Dennis Hixson grew up in the Northwest and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho and a master’s degree from Trinity Western University. He is currently the vice president of Pacific Life Bible College in Surrey, British Columbia. His wife and four children are his greatest treasure. Dennis enjoys his yearly humanitarian trips around the world, fly fishing, and gardening.

Pamela Hackett Hobson is a wife, mother of Tom and Mike, and author of two novels, The Bronxville Book Club and The Silent, and features in the NY Times article “Buzzz, Murmurs Follow Novel.” To learn more about the author and her writing projects, please visit or send an e-mail to [email protected]

Nancy Julien Kopp draws on everyday experiences for her creative nonfiction. Her work has been published in magazines, online, and in anthologies. She also writes children’s fiction and articles about writing. She enjoys traveling, bridge, reading, and her four grandchildren. Nancy lives in Kansas with her retired husband.

Tom Krause is an international motivational speaker living in Missouri with wife, Amy, and sons, Tyler and Sam. To learn more about Tom, please visit

Stephen Lautens has written a weekly column for the Calgary Sun since 1997. His columns have appeared in numerous other Canadian newspapers, and a collection was published as A Chip off the Old Writer’s Block. He, his tolerant wife, and son live in Toronto. To learn more about Stephen and to read his columns, please visit

John J. Lesjack, a graduate of East Detroit High School and San Francisco State University, is a retired grade school teacher and active freelance writer. His works have appeared in many national publications—Instructor, Science of Mind, Reminisce, and Chicken Soup for the Chocolate Lover’s Soul. John can be reached at [email protected]

Patricia Lorenz, an art-of-living writer and much sought-after speaker, is the author of nine books, including Life’s Too Short to Fold Your Underwear. She’s one of the top contributing writers to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books with stories in over thirty editions. Patricia lives in Largo, Florida, where she loves the freedom to follow her dreams while she’s still awake. To contact her about speaking to your group, Patricia can be reached at [email protected]

Patrick Lyons received his Bachelor of Science from Florida A&M University, and Master of Science in Management from North Carolina State University. He is author of Map Your Financial Future: Starting the Right Path in Your Teens and Twenties.

To learn more about Patrick, please visit

Tim Martin is the author of four books and seven screenplays. His script Fast Pitch is presently in preproduction at Promenade Pictures, and his novel, The Culverts of Humbolt County, is due out this fall. Tim can be reached at [email protected]

Tom Miller is a former history professor and novelist. His latest novel is Full Court Press (2000). He is a columnist for Tom can be reached at [email protected]

Gary W. Moore is the author of Playing with the Enemy, CEO of AQUAtiva, a motivational speaker, and musician. Gary is married to Arlene, his wife of 32 years. Contact Gary at: [email protected]

Mark Musolf is a graduate of Western Illinois University. Mark grew up in the Midwest and has lived in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and currently resides in Minnesota. He enjoys working on his home, being with his wife and two sons, and traveling whenever possible. Mark can be reached at [email protected]

Mark Parisi’s “off the mark” comic, syndicated since 1987, is distributed by United Media. Mark’s humor also graces greeting cards, T-shirts, calendars, magazines, newsletters, and books. Lynn is his wife and business partner. Their daughter, Jen, contributes with inspiration, (as do three cats). To learn more about Mark, please visit

Helen Kay Polaski is an author and editor. Her most recent projects include editing the anthology books Christmas Memories, Stories to Warm the Heart and Renew the Spirit, A Cup of Comfort for Weddings, and Classic Christmas, True Stories of Holiday Cheer and Goodwill. Helen can be reached at [email protected]

Michael T. Powers, whose writing appears in twenty-seven inspirational books, including many in the Chicken Soup series, is a youth pastor, motivational speaker, high school girls coach, founder of, and author of his own book, Heart Touchers. To learn more about Michael, to read more of his writing, or to join the thousands of world-wide readers on his inspirational website, please visit, or he can be reached at [email protected]

Dave Quist received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Dave enjoys cycling, swimming, and weight lifting. He lives in Tucson, Arizona, with his wife and son.

Andy Radujko would like to dedicate this story to two truly amazing, incredible people he calls Mom and Dad. Without Steve and Janis Marcy, Andy’s life would have been incredibly different. Thanks, I love you both very much.

Robert C. Raina studied art at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is a cartoonist and has written and illustrated several books for children. Robert is the president and owner of a full time entertainment company located in Western Massachusetts ( He can be contacted at [email protected] and his writing and art work can be viewed at

Randy Richardson’s debut mystery novel, Lost in the Ivy, and humorous musings on parenting have received numerous awards as well as praise from his family. An attorney and president of the Chicago Writers Association, he lives in Illinois with his wife, son, and cat. To learn more about Randy, please visit

Calvin Riendeau was a single father of two sons for about ten years. It had many challenges and many more rewards than he had imagined. Calvin’s first priority was to teach them to be good people, to treat others with compassion and dignity, and that respect is an earned privilege. He can only hope that they have learned as much from him as he has from them. As they are now young adults they have a great bond of friendship that Calvin defines as family.

Glenn Rifkin is a journalist and author living near Boston. He has written extensively for the New York Times and has authored ten books, including Thoreau’s Backyard: Musings from a Small Town. Glenn has a son, Benjamin, and two stepchildren, Cameron and Laura. Glenn can be reached at [email protected]

Bruce Robinson is an award-winning internationally published cartoonist whose work has appeared in numerous consumer and trade periodicals including the National Enquirer, The Saturday Evening Post, Woman’s World, The Sun, First, Highlights for Children, etc. He is also author of the cartoon book GOOD MEDICINE. Contact him at: [email protected]

Sallie A. Rodman received her certificate in Professional Writing at California State University Long Beach. She has won awards from Writer’s Digest and Byline for her inspirational stories. Her work appears in numerous Chicken Soup editions and various magazines and newspapers. She also has a story on Chicken Soup dog food bags. Sallie can be reached at [email protected]

Carol S. Rothchild received her master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University. She is the senior features editor of SIX78th, the junior high lifestyle magazine. She is most passionate about writing for children and young adults. When she is not writing, she is usually behind a camera.

Tracey Sherman is a three-time contributor to the Chicken Soup series. She is wife to her best friend/soulmate of twenty-seven years, mother to three wonderful children, grandmother to one. She continues to strive toward her dream of publishing for children and young adults. Tracey can be reached at [email protected]

Besides raising three boys, Sarah Smiley is the author of Going Overboard (Penguin/NAL, 2005) and is a syndicated newspaper columnist. To learn more about Sarah, please visit

Bob Smith graduated from the University of Baltimore in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science. He is a recreation and parks professional in Baltimore County, Maryland. Bob lives in the town of Edgemere with his wife, Shannon, and their two children, Hannah and Connor.

Christine Mae Smith is a mother of three, grandmother of thirteen, and foster mother of numerous others. She is a frequent contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul books and has had stories published in Woman’s World magazine and in two monthly newsletters. Christine enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family.

John Spatola grew up in Brooklyn and loved to play baseball with his dad. He is currently an accountant and life insurance salesman. He is married and has two sons. He now plays golf and, by the way, coached his sons’ baseball teams. He was so moved by the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, he had to share his story.

Gloria Cassity Stargel writes for Guideposts, Chicken Soul for the Soul, and others. Her award-winning book, The Healing: One Family’s Victorious Struggle with Cancer, strengthens faith, gives hope. To learn more about Gloria or to read portions of her book, please visit You can also order online, or call 1-800-888-9529, or order through the mail: Applied Images, 312 Bradford St. NW, Gainesville, GA 30501.

Ken Swarner is author of Whose Kids Are These Anyway? Ken can be reached at [email protected]

Andrew Toos has established a national reputation through his offbeat lifestyle cartoons for clients, such as Reader’s Digest, Saturday Evening Post, Gallery Stern, Accountancy, Baseball Digest, CEO magazine, the Washington Post, Barron’s, Bayer Corp., Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, and many other titles and media outlets. His work is licensed through Andrew lives with his wife, Nancy, in Florida.

Ed VanDeMark has a Bachelor of Science in Art Education. He’s worked in county government in upstate New York for more than thirty-three years. He is married, the father of three adult children, and grandfather of four grandsons and two grandaughters. Ed enjoys church activities, writing, cartooning, lawn work, and sports.

Donald Verkow lives with his wife of thirty-two years, Katie, and his labs, Molly and Abby. He is assistant principal at Paramount Charter Academy in Kalamazoo. Don loves to travel, enjoys the beach, writes and plays golf. Don is the author of several short stories.

Since 1990, Joseph Walker has written a weekly newspaper column called “ValueSpeak.” Some of his columns were published in Chicken Soup for the Grandparent’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Teacher’s Soul, and Chicken Soup for the Mother and Son Soul. His books include Look What Love Has Done for Deseret Book. Joseph and his wife, Anita, have five children and four grandchildren.

Nick Walker is a meteorologist and host of First Outlook weekday mornings on The Weather Channel. He presents educational programs to young people and hosts the Weather Dude website at A singer-songwriter, Nick’s recording “Sing Along with the Weather Dude” teaches basic weather concepts through music.

Stephen Wayne resides in northern New Jersey, is a husband, father, and a first-time contributor to a Chicken Soup anthology. A former police detective who specialized and lectured on juvenile and family matters, he now shares his thoughts through his writings and has appeared in various publications. Contact: [email protected]

Bob Weber was born and reared in Arden Hills, a northern suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. As a youth, he actively participated in Boy Scouts, 4-H, and Junior Achievement. Majoring in Speech and Communications at the University of Minnesota, Bob went on to a thirty-five year career in sales and marketing. Now retired, he designs and builds award-winning furniture, writes funding proposals for area charites, and currently is director of Sport Support 4 Kids, a program that provides funds for low-income kids, which allows them to participate in local athletic programs.

By day, David Wilkins is a vice president of Manufacturing Operations at Aragon Surgical. At night, he’s an author of previous Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and is currently seeking an agent for his completed novel. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Management from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. Since 1976 he has lived in San Jose with his British wife. David can be reached at [email protected]

June Williams lives in Brush Prairie, Washington, with her husband, Mac. She enjoys her family and writing stories about them. Her work has appeared in six Chicken Soup books. June can be reached at [email protected]

Paul Winick, M.D., lives in Hollywood, Florida, with his wife of forty-four years, Dorothy. He practiced pediatrics there for almost thirty years. He has two married children; Charles, who is married to Maureen (children—triplets—Jordan, Toby, and Samantha), and Ruth, who is married to Frank (children, Martina and Bryan). Dr. Winick graduated from Columbia College and SUNY Downstate Medical Center School of Medicine. Presently, he is a full professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Ferida Wolff is a contributor to several Chicken Soup books. She writes books for children and adults, including the picture book Is a Worry Worrying You? and the essay book The Adventures of Swamp Woman: Menopause Essays on the Edge. To learn more about Ferida, please visit

Woody Woodburn has been a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. A sports journalist for more than twenty-five years, he is currently working on his first nonsports book. He lives in Ventura, California. Woody can be reached at [email protected]

Gary Xavier is a lecturer and author of engineering textbooks and a newspaper columnist. He and his wife, Linda, have two grown sons. His column is based on his students, his life with his family, and the nine dogs that have been part of their lives. Gary can be reached at [email protected]

Thousands of Bob Zahn’s cartoons have been published in all the leading publications. He has more than one thousand greeting cards to his credit, as well as several humor books. Bob can be reached at [email protected], or to learn more about him, please visit,

Lanny Zechar is a writer and speaker living in Southern California with his family. His story “Trust Me” was published in the Chicken Soup for the Father & Daughter Soul. Lanny’s future plans include publishing a novel and several children’s stories.

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