Sunday, July 22, 2012

Looking for Lincoln: Doc Wilkerson's novel

It's been 25 years since I was his student, but it only took me a second to recognize the friendly face of Roland H. "Doc" Wilkerson Jr. as I entered the tent for BookFestPA at Schlow Centre Region Library in State College on July 14.

Doc, whose challenging World Cultures class I took and much enjoyed while a sophomore at State College Area High School, recently published a novel, "Looking for Lincoln: Today's Crisis in America" (Eifrig Publishing, April 2012, 352 pp., $16.99)

Doc, who I suspect is long-retired from teaching, was one of those gifted teachers who could not only get a bunch of motley 15-year-olds to listen, but also to share his passion for history. He's a great storyteller. 

Doc and his wife, Doyle, led European tours for students some summers. My sister Jennifer was his student a few years before I was, and went on one of Doc's famous summer trips with students to Europe. While it was my goal to do, say and wear absolutely everything my sister did growing up, I never made it on the Europe trip. So many years later, I can't remember why not ... Ski camp? Too busy lifeguarding? What a waste! And I still haven't made it to Europe. But I digress...
State College authors Mark Ross and Roland H. "Doc" Wilkerson
under the tent at BookFestPA

In my brief exchange with Doc last week, during which I felt a little starstruck (here was one of the most inspiring teachers of my high school career ... it was a bit like running into a rockstar), he explained that his novel is about how America needs another Abraham Lincoln. 

We could use more heroes, that's for sure. 

Thanks for being one of mine, Doc!

Here's the book summary from the publisher's website:

For young Tommy Wall from the shady little town of Mill Gate, Pa., America is baseball. Pinch hits and outs, best friends, an honest game, and the grass around the diamond make his world. But when Thomas Wall is forced to confront the reality in America around him as an adult, it is not so simple.

This is a controversial novel about the politics and culture reigning in the USA today. It will initiate discussions and debates on the historical decline of empires and the malady the USA currently finds itself in.

About the author (from his bio on the publisher's site):

Roland H. Wilkerson, Jr., known as Ron to his friends and “Doc” to his students, has been a lifelong student and teacher of the meanings of history. He has lived in State College, Pa. with is wife Doyle since 1969, and using the world as a tool of learning they have traveled hand in hand for nearly 50 summers. He was educated at the University of Dayton and Miami University, and earned a doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University. He is currently working on a review of contemporary American culture.

Here's a link to Doc's Facebook page.

For more information about "Looking for Lincoln," or to purchase it online, click here.

No comments: