Pioneers Rising Up: Fosbury & Strahorn Book Giveaways

Two of my favorite people have published books this week.

Jane Kirkpatrick’s latest novel, Everything She Didn’t Say, is an exploration of the life of real life pioneer Carrie Strahorn, who penned her own memoir in 1911, titled Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage. 

I’m thinking that if I had traveled 15,000 miles by stage, I’d be talking out of my head before I ever arrived. My memoir would have to be titled Everything She was Unable to Say. 

A local gal had given Carrie’s memoirs to Jane several years ago, thinking that Jane would love Carrie’s writing, which she did. But, Jane noted, that Carrie painted a pretty rosy picture of what it must’ve been like for a woman to travel 15,000 miles across country in stagecoach. I mean, c’mon, these women didn’t even have the convenience of tampons. I can’t even imagine having to deal with menstruation while riding on a wooden seat or on a horse. Never mind the dust. The heat. I’m am an unabashed woman who prefers comfort and hot showers. I’m happy to leave the pioneering to women like Jane and Carrie.

I love Jane and her wickedly feminist sense of humor.

You will, too. Check out her new novel.

It was my other buddy, Bob Welch, who inspired Jane to publish her first book, 30 books ago. Bob has been a journalist/columnist at the Eugene Register-Guard for decades. He is beloved by readers everywhere. While I don’t share his passion for all things UofO, it tickles me to witness Bob’s rabid devotion to Ducks.

Sports and storytelling are Bob’s jam. He’s been documenting his adventures hiking the PCT for years now, long before anyone had ever heard of Cheryl Strayed.

But Bob’s latest book isn’t about his love of hiking. It’s about the high jump. Yeah. That high jump. Bob teamed up with Dick Fosbury to write the story of how Dick managed to revolutionize the Track and Field’s High Jump competition. The Wizard of Foz documents the origination of the Fosbury Flop.  But this story does more than just provide the technicalities of successful high jumping, it’s a reflection upon the 1960s, the racial tensions, the war tensions, the personal challenges and losses that Dick faced.

It’s the story of rising above, personally and professionally.

A call to urge the rest of us to rise up.

To celebrate my friends, I’m giving away two copies of each book. Leave your name and a shout-out to someone who has helped you rise up, to do hard things, for a chance to win.

Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Christian Bend (Mercer University Press).

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.


Diane Adams

about 3 years ago

I love Janet Kirkpatrick's writing and anything U of O gets me excited too. My about out is to Leilani Larson who saw beyond the fearful child I was and encouraged me to fight for the life I wanted.


Debbie Derrick

about 3 years ago

I have to give my oldest daughter a shout out. She is helping me become more vocal about life. She's not afraid to take a stand! Proud of her. (Maybe I did something right)


Marsha Tennant

about 3 years ago

My dad! Always told me I could do anything I wanted to do.


Jane Wilson

about 3 years ago

Joe Dallas, one of my first bosses, who taught me the way to find out how much authority you had to something was just to keep taking it until someone said to stop, you’re not authorized to do that. PS My mom loved Jane Kirkpatrick’s books & gave me several of them. She was impressed you know her



about 3 years ago

My Daughter, Heather, has encouraged me, cheered me, pushed me, helped me in ways she is not even aware of.


Barbara Windmoller

about 3 years ago

I have not read Jane Kirkpatrick's book, but, If Karen recommends them, they must be good.


Rod Richards

about 3 years ago

My wife Ruthann has helped me rise up. When I didn't think I could do more, she urged me to try and I wouldn't have completed college or gotten the great job I have now. She supported me while I was going through radiation treatments and took great care of me. She would love to read the Jane Kirkpatrick book and I would love the Fosbury book


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