Memoirs Of A Hometown Hero

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And he's already at work on a second book for WaterBrook — another comic novel about another superhuman gift with major implications: invisibility. No trouble, though, spotting Geoffrey Wood. He's that guy behind the counter at Starbucks, who can tell you a story — a crisis story — but with great comic timing. It's called Leaper. Look for it. Clarence Cecil Adams, age 70, died in Memphis, his hometown, in — too late to see his own story into print. That lengthy subtitle, however, only begins to describe Adams' extraordinary life.

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He was born in South Memphis — son of an year-old mother and a father he never knew — and he grew up in a garage apartment behind the "old Coward Place," a house that would become the city's fine restaurant, Justine's. Life in s Memphis wasn't easy for any child who was poor and black, but nonetheless, Adams was a happy kid. The grandmother who raised him nicknamed him "Skippy," and Adams did what he could do to make life better: He scavenged at the Chickasaw Coal Yard for his grandmother's kitchen stove. He shined shoes on Main Street. He worked room service at The Peabody.

And he was good in the ring: the boxing ring. At the age of 17, though, he left his hometown — as much to escape the police who one day knocked on his door as to escape the segregated South.


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Adams joined the U. He served in Japan, and when war was declared in , he served a second tour of duty in Korea as a gunner.


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If he thought racism existed solely in the South, however, Adams learned soon enough that it operated at all levels of American society, including the armed services. But he survived. He survived a Chinese raid on his all-black division.

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He survived the sub-zero march to a prisoner-of-war camp in North Korea, where he made it through almost three years of captivity. And in , the year the war ended, he refused repatriation to the U. Adams chose instead to live in China, a society that, he believed, offered him the chance for a better education and better opportunities. And it did. Adams earned a degree in Chinese literature, and he worked as a translator for the Foreign Languages Press.

He met and married his wife, Lin, and he fathered two children, a daughter, Della, and a son, Louis. It's now Bafana Bafana's turn at Afcon, says sports guru. Following a motorbike accident, Reyaan Traut rides with a prosthetic arm that hooks into a bracket attached to the bicycle.

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Controversial reclassification of wildlife a positive move, says game rancher Dr Peter Oberem argues that the reclassification of 33 species creates a value, ensuring people will look after the animals. I saw that person that killed himself in the video store.

What got you through that intensely difficult period? It made me feel alive again and gave me purpose and strength. The fact that it was able to get international recognition and that people outside my community saw it and just going on the road and talking about being HIV positive at a time when very few people did that because you could lose your job, family, and friends. But that became my purpose, mission, and goal and I was thrilled to do it.

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I appreciate your honesty. But not a lot of people talk about why it was so attractive. You just feel an aura and all this closeness. I loved all those semi-homeless tricks of mine. It was kind of an addiction and I never got much enjoyment out of it. There were momentary enjoyments, but I was always searching and never finding. You never knew what you had because someone better was always around the corner.

And it was a lot of work. And particularly at the end, I felt so belittled, because everyone was saying how tired they were. But you always need to know when to step off the stage. What inspired the decision to get a home out in Kyburz, California? It was not in my crystal ball for the future and it completely changed my life.

I was getting sick of San Francisco for all the reasons we all know, so six years ago, with the money he left me, I was able to purchase a small cabin in the woods 30 miles from Lake Tahoe, right by the American River.