Archive for April, 2009

Resident brings the ‘American Dream’ to life in new book-Wethersfield Post

April 28, 2009
Resident brings the ‘American Dream’ to life in new book

By:John Fitts, Staff writer 04/24/2009

Many Americans dream of taking the great American road trip once the children are out of the house and the career is finally finished.

 

Wethersfield resident Glenn Maynard, however, decided to take the opposite approach.

“The common thought is to wait to retire and go RVing,” he said.

Maynard and his ex-wife however decided – “before the mortgage and the kids -let’s get that out of the way first.”

So in 1992, a week after their wedding, the two took off in a renovated 1978 Dodge Rockwood and spent a year on the road, visiting the 48 contiguous states and parts of Mexico and Canada.

Now Maynard’s experiences from that trip, which were originally written out on legal pads, have recently been published by Strategic Book Publishing under the name “Strapped into an American Dream.”

The trip consisted of 35,000 miles worth of amazing experiences as they traveled everywhere from the grandest of national parks in southern Utah to a Wyoming town with a population of six that urged visitors to “drive at a reasonable speed.”

Along the way they were shaken by earthquakes, saw twisters in Illinois, were nearly toppled by the wind on the Colorado plains (after finally leaving Kansas) and drove miles through the woods to reach a free campground in Maine – where they met a man with a dog named Molly – the same as their Miniature Schnauzer.

Although they saved the money from their wedding and were fortunate that their cars sold when they were on the road. The couple were forced to work for a time in an Arizona factory after nearly running out of cash.

The two also met an amazing cast of characters including gypsies and people who had UFO and Bigfoot stories.

“Small town America was unbelievable,” Maynard said.

At the time of the trip, Maynard recounted some of those experiences by sending accounts along the way to local newspapers, including the Glastonbury Citizen and Bristol Press.

Maynard, who has a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Connecticut, grew up in Glastonbury but Colorado proved so alluring, the couple lived in the Denver area for four years. After his divorce, Maynard moved back to Connecticut and has been in Wethersfield since 2001.

He said that after the trip, he typed his stories into a word processor and the book was essentially finished before he moved back to Connecticut. After the divorce, he rewrote the book slightly, taking out some of the honeymoon language but he said the book is 100 percent factual.

Along the way he had to retype it again into a computer and then came the long process of trying to sell it. He said he nearly gave up but Strategic took on the project and published the book in February. Maynard said he hopes to get the title into local stores – which is proving more difficult that he expected. For now it is available online through place such as Amazon.com,

It can also be found at http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/StrappedIntoAnAmericanDream.html

Some excerpts and other material can be found at http://www.squidoo.com/glen-maynard-the-american-dream

Maynard is also finishing a work of fiction. While he hopes to eventually write full-time, he is enjoying his job as a business analyst for United Healthcare.

“If it happens, it happens,” he said.

 

(http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20304102&BRD=1662&PAG=461&dept_id=11233&rfi=6)

©Wethersfield Post 2009

 

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American Idol Strapped Into An American Dream

April 22, 2009

I watched American Idol and Simon Cowell was his normal self…truthful and accurate.  He sugarcoats nothing and shoots from the hip.  Paula Abdul had some witty remarks, but was clobbered by her sidekick with each one.  She was dancing more than when I saw her concert back in 1992 in Milwaukee, WI.  I detailed her performance during my one year RV journey thru America’s lower 48 in “Strapped Into An American Dream.”

New Travel Book

April 20, 2009

Hello everybody out there. My book came out about a month ago and my local newspapers will be featuring my story. It goes something like this: A couple quit their jobs and chucked it all…hitting the road on a one year journey thru the 48 continental states in a rebuilt rv. Care to do it? Care to read about someone who did? Care to feel what it’s like? Capture the feeling in my book blog…or blog book. No, that would be book blog. Say that 5 times fast…

Distant and Isolated Thunderheads – Strapped Into an American Dream

April 3, 2009

Distant and isolated thunderheads flashed electricity as we searched for this city park. This journey had become a night mission by the time we reached what appeared to be a park. We saw no indication of what the name or route number might be. It didn’t take us long to discover that Minnesota is famous for losing travelers. We reached Franklin City Park, which was not marked with a sign, and set up camp.

While I was flipping through a palm-size notepad of phone numbers in front of a phone bubble in the small business section of town the following day, a young, pudgy blonde-haired boy slowly rode his bicycle in circles near me on the wide street. I had taken my bike off the back of the camper to pedal the short distance into town, unaware of just how small the town really was.

“What are ya doin’ this afternoon?” asked the boy of maybe ten years as he slowed to a stop with his feet.

He took me by surprise. “What am I doing?” I repeated, giving me time to think of an answer, then wondering why I had to. “Ahh…making phone calls.”

“Do you fish?”

“Not really,” I said, sharing my focus with the conversation and the notepad.

“Well…ya wanna try? I have two poles at home, and you can use one.”

“I think I’m going to have to pass,” I answered. “My wife’s back at our camper.”

“Camper? Where are you camping?”

“At the park.”

“The baseball park?”

“Yes.”

“Oh,” he said. “Franklin’s a nice place. Let’s go ask your wife if you can go fishing.”

“I have things to do back at the camper.” I replied.

Mr. Franklin came armed with one question after another. I couldn’t believe that he would walk up to a total stranger, obviously an out-of-towner, and entrust him to go fishing. I don’t really fish, anyway, but the lonely kid living in the trailer behind the phone bubble wasn’t prepared to take “NO” for an answer.

Three kids rode their bikes past us on the street. “Nice haircut,” he said to one of the bikers, a mischievous grin on his face, but received only a smirk in response. He rode his bike away once the kids passed, but returned while I spoke on the phone, eavesdropping on my conversation, though managing to falsely regurgitate my words.

“You’re going to fifty-eight states?” he asked as I hung up.

“Forty-eight. Can’t make it to Hawaii and Alaska.”

“Why can’t ya go to Hawaii?”

“Because we’re driving a camper and there are no roads.”

“Yes there are,” he objected. “There are ya know.”

Instead of more questions my way, I decided to turn the tables and try to get some information out of a Minnesota child.

“When does winter start around here?” I asked.

“Anytime now,” he answered, after squinting his eyes in thought.

“When does it start to snow?” I asked. “Around Halloween?”

“On Halloween,” he replied with confidence.

“On Halloween?” I asked for verification.

“Yes,” he confirmed. “It starts to snow on Halloween.”

He resumed riding his bike in circles once I convinced him that I wasn’t going fishing. He disappeared but returned a short time later. While I was on the phone, Mr. Franklin began tugging on my shirtsleeve. “Can you untangle my line?” he asked.

When I turned around, he had his fishing pole up to my face, but I motioned with my finger for him to wait with my index finger. Before I hung up, the inquisitive kid vanished, and I pedaled back to the camper uninterrupted.

For more on Strapped into an American Dream and Glenn Maynard visit http://www.squidoo.com/glen-maynard-the-american-dream

 

Review and purchase http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/StrappedIntoAnAmericanDream.html

Into New Orleans We Went..

April 3, 2009

Excerpt from Strapped into an American Dream

For more on Strapped into an American Dream and Glenn Maynard visit http://www.squidoo.com/glen-maynard-the-american-dream

Into New Orleans we trampled, where the tombstones sat above ground. People cannot be buried below the earth because of swamps; digging one foot down would turn up water. We hoped to survive Mardi Gras without ending up six feet over.

After stepping off the bus and into the chaos, we followed the crowd, hoping they’d pull us to where we wanted to be. We didn’t know the where, but neither did anyone we asked. Since most people walked in one direction, we followed along.

By the time the Iris parade reached our front row positioning behind a thick, twisted wire running alongside the street, ninety minutes had passed. The street quickly cleared, and the parade owned the crowd.

Krewes seemed to love the hysteria they created, and sometimes they’d reach into their buckets and heave handful after handful of necklaces overboard. A tug-of-war would ensue by the commoners until all the beads were taken.

Serious struggles arose over these cheap plastic beads, sometimes resulting in injury, but it seemed worth any possible injury at the time. There’s nothing like that moment during a Mardi Gras parade. Nothing else really matters.

The mania turned adults into children, while children only stood a chance if they were on their parents’ shoulders. Tracy admitted that she had become a victim of greed, but only once gave in to a struggle for beads against a child. She felt so terrible while reflecting on what Mardi Gras does to people and what it had done to us. However, I’d be lying if I said that we didn’t enjoy a teary-eyed chuckle from these childish reflections.

 

http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/StrappedIntoAnAmericanDream.html

Excerpt from Strapped into An American Dream

April 3, 2009

For more on Strapped into an American Dream and Glenn Maynard visit http://www.squidoo.com/glen-maynard-the-american-dream

Here was the cowboy and Rodeo State we’d been waiting for. We saw the old west before us as we accepted the continuation of Route 18, which headed south soon after entering Wyoming. Our new state flattened after a turn southward, but soft, distant mountains emerged from the earth like clouds spattering the horizon.

Bluffs entered our windshield picture, and so did a couple of trains to the right side of the road heading toward us, veering with the road. The park in Lusk could not help us. An open shower stood lonely in the middle of the grass. The supposed facilities failed us, including a sign dictating no overnight camping. We had put too much faith in Lusk, so their offering frustrated the hell out of us.

I grabbed our maps and camp books to research Plan B, and we found a free campground fifty-five miles west in Douglas. Darkness began to set in, and a fierce wind began to blow as we continued the drive.

We were exhausted, sick of driving, could barely see through the bug-splattered windshield, and had to continue on for at least another hour in the dark. We continued on our journey that would perhaps land us at a campground that might exist. If not, then we could remember Wyoming as merely a dark drive.

Our westward movement continually delayed darkness. It truly fascinated us to follow the sun, even though it had retired for the day. The sun hid, but we knew where it had tucked itself away because of the one spot lighting the horizon below the earth, our exact destination. Complete darkness pushed us along from behind. Sunset was my favorite time to travel, and it seemed to camouflage any turbulence that may have occurred when the sun shined.

The book may be reviewed and/or purchased at

http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/StrappedIntoAnAmericanDream.html

Strapped into an American Dream on Squidoo

April 3, 2009

Strapped into an American Dream by Glenn Maynard, Published by Strategic Book Publishing, NY, New York

Strapped into an American Dream captures America, whirling readers along a 35,000-mile trek through the 48 contiguous states in a rebuilt RV. Glenn Maynard brings this journey to all armchair travelers who will love the adrenaline rush. One week after their wedding, Glenn and his wife quit their jobs, sold their cars, and set out to find America. This book details how they were able to realize this dream, and then introduces the reader to the unique people they met and the places they visited along the path. Travel with them through 23 National Parks, Las Vegas, Mardi Gras, and dusty ghost towns. Feel the rushing wind of tornadoes and the rocking of an earthquake. Sleep on roadsides and in truck stops, shifting from state to state, risking danger in favor of a limited bank account. It is the dream of many Americans, in all walks of life, to travel the country, but few realize this dream. Now they may do so vicariously in the reading of these adventures. Laugh along the way. Share the terror, sorrow, and humor — strapped into an American dream.

Strapped into an American Dream by Author Glenn Maynard

April 3, 2009

Credit : http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/StrappedIntoAnAmericanDream.html

Strapped into an American Dream captures America, whirling readers along a 35,000-mile trek through the 48 contiguous states in a rebuilt RV.

Glenn Maynard brings this journey to all armchair travelers who will love the adrenaline rush. One week after their wedding, Glenn and his wife quit their jobs, sold their cars, and set out to find America. This book details how they were able to realize this dream, and then introduces the reader to the unique people they met and the places they visited along the path.

Travel with them through 23 National Parks, Las Vegas, Mardi Gras, and dusty ghost towns. Feel the rushing wind of tornadoes and the rocking of an earthquake. Sleep on roadsides and in truck stops, shifting from state to state, risking danger in favor of a limited bank account.

It is the dream of many Americans, in all walks of life, to travel the country, but few realize this dream. Now they may do so vicariously in the reading of these adventures. Laugh along the way. Share the terror, sorrow, and humor — strapped into an American dream.


About the Author

Glenn Maynard has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Connecticut, and a degree in Communications.

After spending 4 years living in Denver, Colorado, he returned home to Connecticut and now resides in Wethersfield. He has a 9 year-old son named Andrew. He was a travel correspondent for three newspapers while traveling through the United States, Canada and Mexico during his one-year journey. He had a total of twenty newspaper articles published. His story was captured on the evening newscast upon his return.


Hard Cover – 6×9 – 336 pages – $32.50

ISBN: 978-1-60693-493-7
ISBN / SKU:
1-60693-493-7

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April 3, 2009

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