Question: Who is the intended audience?
Answer: People who are interested in learning more about Indian boarding schools, Native American art, Angel DeCora, football in its early days, the legendary Carlisle Indian School football teams, the advent of the Rose Bowl, the Redskins naming controversy and, of course, the fascinating man that was William Henry Lone Star Dietz. Alumni of the colleges at which he coached: Washington State, Purdue, Louisiana Tech, Wyoming, Haskell Indian Nations University and Albright College and Redskins fans are also interested in the book.
Q: What is the book about?
A: The book is about the life and times of Lone Star Dietz, the most colorful coach ever to grace the sidelines of a football field. Dietz was a Renaissance man. In addition to being an athlete, he was an artist (the book is heavily illustrated by works done by him, his first wife, Angel DeCora, and their students), an educator, a movie actor, a championship dog breeder (their dog won best of breed at Westminster in 1915), a writer, a singer and is still controversial today. Even his detractors consider him to be a fascinating person.
Q: Why are you the best person to write this book?
A: Some would say because I’m too naive to know better. Others would say because I persevered and followed the story through to the end. I think it’s because I found his life was more interesting than the legends that grew around him that I let his story unfold as it was rather than imposing my own preconceptions on him. I completed the book where others didn’t because I stuck with it. Because I had the time and resources to travel to the numerous places Dietz lived and worked and was willing to spend hour after hour hunched over microfilm readers, I was able to write his story. Others who started books on him either didn’t have the time or were smart enough not to spend significant parts of their lives on such a project.
Q: How is this book different from other books on this topic?
A: Although this is the only book-length biography of Lone Star Dietz, magazine articles outlining his life have been written. Unfortunately about half of what one reads about Lone Star Dietz is not true or is badly distorted. Keep A-goin’ also places Dietz in the times and places in which he lived, something that is necessary for the reader to understand fully what was transpiring. Lone Star was a Forrest Gump sort of person in that he was involved with historical events and rubbed shoulders with numerous famous people. He was a household name during the first half of the 20th century so his antics were covered nationally. Dietz was a larger-than-life person; this book tells his story warts and all.
Q: Is there anything else to know about this book?
A: Writing the book has been a rewarding experience as several people have thanked me for writing it. Large publishing houses did not take on the project because they did not perceive that there would be a large enough audience for the book. The book attempts to be complete, fair and accurate. A critic of my conclusions pointed out that I provide the information necessary to allow the reader to come to his or her conclusions about the book.
Finalist for ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award