Rounding the Bend: The Life and Times of Big Red (Paperback)
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What do heroes look like? Certainly not like Big Red, a washed-up 290 pound Vietnam vet and ex-Mississippi River towboat pilot haunted by his past. There's no 'S' on his huge chest, no cape on his back. He's certainly no hero. Or is he? The answer is in his notebook. Penniless and cooped up in a Minnesota veterans' home by the banks of the Mississippi, he's lost everything but his riotous wit. He won't speak of his past with anyone. Instead, he writes in his notebook and stares out toward the River, wishing to once again 'drive through a bend on the Mighty Miss'. Enter Wihopa, aka Toddy, Red's nurse, a wise, nurturing and beautiful Lakota Sioux woman. She's dauntless, spiritual, has a wit to match Red's, and is a genius at transformational healing. Toddy grants Red his fervent wish, and together they head downriver on a tow. At day's end, trapped by a freak fall blizzard and hunkered down aboard his old houseboat, Cirrhosis of the River, Red learns from Toddy what being a hero really means, as she guides him back through the profound ethical choices of his past: from the horrors of Vietnam, to his bizarre confrontation with life, death, and the law, and finally to an astounding revelation.
About the Author
Next to sailing, telling and writing stories is Dave Roper's favorite pastime. His writing has been published in eighteen languages. Recent work includes the novel Rounding the Bend...The Life and Times of Big Red. His prior book, Watching for Mermaids, rose to #4 on the Boston Globe Bestseller List. Dave is also the author of Getting the Job You Want Now! (a Time Warner book), and a regular columnist for Points East Magazine. He has written feature stories for Cruising World, DownEast Guide, Lakeland Boating, Sail, Sailing, Reader's Digest, and The Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. Dave has been a yacht delivery skipper, captain of a 135' Mississippi River stern wheel cruise ship, and life-long cruiser along the coast of Maine. In 1982 he founded and continues to direct A-Script, a career advisory and resume writing firm in Marblehead, MA.