Tracing a

Trajectory

Reflecting on the path my life has taken calls to mind the popular song Get Your Kicks on Route 66. It’s been a route of 66 twists and turns, stops and starts. My way has been a circuitous highway. And yes, I got some kicks, as well as a few flat tires, en route to the present stage in my life: writing a blog and authoring books.

I was born in Muskegon, Mich., and moved to Iowa at age 6 when my parents took their own route back to their, well, roots – and stalks (as in corn). High school was a time of turmoil for me, but I nonetheless graduated and entered tiny Central College where, eventually, seven family members matriculated. Though excelling in English throughout my school years, I regarded myself as not smart enough to take Latin in high school, and studied German in college, where a foreign language was required. I earned A’s and, chafing in the college’s religious environment, took a hiatus from my misery before entering Drake University in Des Moines and earning a bachelor’s in German and English. Then it was off to Europe aboard the USS United States, and three months of motorcycle touring and attendance at a Goethe Institute for foreigners learning German. Back in the States, I spent a semester at the University of Iowa, but decided that teaching German would be too sedentary for me. A professor at Central told me I had a flair for writing, and I returned to the university to study journalism after working briefly as a railroad clerk.

My first newspaper job was at the Herald-News in Joliet, Ill., covering the police and municipal bodies. I distinguished myself in a story that inspired the chairman of the county board to rise from his chair and threaten me with eviction through a closed, second-floor window. Other highlights were a story on fire hazards at seedy hotels that I stayed in, and my portrayal of the aftermath of rioting when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
Spending my weekends in nearby Chicago, I itched to move there, and landed a job with The Associated Press. After only six weeks, I covered a plane crash at O’Hare Airport that killed 31 people, making my way into an airline hangar that served as a temporary morgue, where 18 bodies lay side by side, grotesquely burned or devoid of limbs. On Father’s Day 1970, I sped south to Crescent City, where six propane tank cars exploded in a train derailment, injuring scores but killing none.
An AP trouble shooter offered me a job on the radio desk at the New York headquarters, but I wanted more writing opportunity, and left for the Milwaukee Journal (now Journal-Sentinel). I spent half of my two-year stint there as a police reporter, my investigation of a murder forcing a medical examiner’s inquest.
Leaving my eminently forgettable experience in that freezing city behind, I headed for the tropics and the Tampa Tribune. My story on bait-and-switch tactics by appliance dealers prompted a state investigator to impose penalties. Substituting for the education reporter at a school board meeting one night, I wrote a story that ingratiated me with the paper’s editors, who decided I should replace her. My objections were in vain, and I found a job with the Palm Beach Post, where I spent 14 years as a reporter, feature writer, entertainment writer and music critic, a position that, despite feeling woefully unqualified to fill, I dove into enthusiastically, if unremarkably. I did, however, uncover an embezzlement scheme at a theater.
Trying my hand for a few years in a business venture that broke even, I returned to journalism. In nine years with a group of luxury-lifestyle magazines, I wrote numerous features about celebrities such as Winston Churchill’s grandson, Winston S. Churchill II; authors James Patterson, Elmore Leonard and Stuart Woods; moon astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin; and William Koch, billionaire brother of the much richer Charles and David Koch. I also served as copy chief for the group.
During my 35-year journalism career, I garnered several awards and accolades. Then, as a freelancer, I edited several memoirs before embarking on my current enterprise of authoring books. The first was a short memoir titled A TALE OF TWO CONTINENTS: Jetting Across the Globe to Have a Baby, which I ghost-wrote. Close on its heels came BREAKING OUT, a coming-of-age novel about a deeply troubled young man.

My current novel, MURDER IN PALM BEACH: The Homicide That Never Died, rose in the Amazon rankings to No. 1 in the Criminal Procedure category of the Kindle edition, receiving mostly stellar reviews and garnering publicity in about 15 newspapers and magazines. I am excited about my recently completed novel, which is awaiting publication, and anticipate more works in the future.

Other Books

Murder In Palm Beach

BY BOB BRINK

Breaking Out

BY BOB BRINK

A Tale Of Two Continents

BY BOB BRINK

Book Bundle

BY BOB BRINK