A Dallas Morning News write up… what a cool thing to share! I’m usually behind the scenes, quietly working away on a book, web content, or social media. But sometimes my author clients rely on me to help publicize their book launches — and this might mean writing press releases or participating in media interviews.
On December 10, 2021, after a flurry of back-and-forths, the Dallas Morning News published an amazing article by Cheryl Hall about my author client, NFL great Pettis Norman. I was quoted as the project manager for his autobiography (he hired me as his book editor after a nationwide search). What followed was two years of research and intense writing and editing — his book is big and bold and I know it so well. What an honor to be a part of this magnificent Dallas Morning News piece.
I must say, we’re all very proud of The Pettis Norman Story: From the Cotton Fields to the Cotton Bowl and Into Servant Leadership. Excerpts from the book appear in Cheryl’s article.
My Mention in this Dallas Morning News Article
The book was published by SuburbanBuzz, a boutique publisher in Katy, and is available on Amazon in paperback (353 pages) and e-book formats.
Melanie Saxton, who oversaw the book project for Norman, said major publishing houses showed interest in the book but wanted to split it into his NFL and post-NFL years.
“Rather than rolling out two books — one on football and one on servant leadership — Pettis decided to keep his entire story arc intact,” Saxton said. “After all, the two career paths overlapped significantly, and he felt his journey should be captured in one manuscript.”
And the book does just that as Norman goes from being a sharecropper’s son to football fame to helping launch the Dallas Together Forum, which enlisted Dallas’ corporate elite to help bridge Dallas’ north/south economic divide.
The Most Poignant Part
Q: You joined the Cowboys in the early ‘60s when it was a common practice to separate players by race. What did you do about that?
A: I addressed the issue of segregation, which percolated beneath the surface of the Dallas Cowboys franchise, with both Coach [Tom] Landry and Tex Schramm. First, I went to Tex to discuss it. “It’s really time we change it,” I told him. “We are a team. We cannot separate by color. It sends the wrong message to us and the community.”
Sure enough, a month or so later, just before the next training camp, Tex called me in and said, “I want to follow through on your idea. You and Dave Manders will room together, set the tempo and we’ll pair everybody up alphabetically at the end of training camp.”
Fortunately, Dave Manders’ name and mine fell in alphabetical order on the roster, so it was an easy transition when the players were informed of our new arrangements.
We were once in a southern city for an exhibition game. There was a policy that Blacks and whites could not eat together, and Coach Landry simply said, “Well, we don’t play where we can’t eat and sleep together as a team.” Suddenly, the arrangements were made, and we did play the game.See more…