About the Author - Philip M. Williams

Philip M. Williams was born in Boston, and grew up in Newton Center, a suburb. He learned to read, not by grasping individual syllables, but by the whole word. Because he got most things backwards, he was considered a lost cause by some teachers. Bleak high-school years were made rich by the track coach, the bandmaster, the orchestra conductor, and an English teacher.

The years at Harvard College were a dream of learning. The track team was coached by a master, so the mind was stretched, and the body was tested under conditions that never could be improved. From Harvard, he jumped to Wall Street. There he was placed into a financial training program that taught much about the "Street". His contrarian nature did not suit, so farewell and good luck. He then became a teacher at the Allendale School, in Rochester, New York. Allendale had a fine headmaster and faculty, dedicated to the art of teaching. With such support, even the clumsiest of teachers would become expert. He was the track coach. The team won their track-and-field league championship eight straight years.

Having left teaching, he wrote a children's sailing mystery. By a not abnormal sequence, reality economics introduced him to carpentry at a housing project. A dyslexic who can't tell right from left other than by shaking his writing hand, and who confuses twenty-four with forty-two, makes for an uncommonly poor carpenter. Nevertheless, he had some talents others did not. The art of teaching had developed transferable skills. He became a framing supervisor. He moved up the supervisory ladder to more complex projects, and eventually to his own company. With his children as helpmates during the summers, he designed, built, and sold houses to satisfy a yen for the different. He made money and lost money. He became old enough to retire, and with the help and advice of his children, he went back to writing, a strange and attractive companion.

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