In ‘THAT MASTERFUL SEASON’, the reader will find a refreshing story that follows 8 men from both coasts that have one common bond. On the west coast, Marc Minor, Greg Jackson, Danny Epps, and Bernard Kelly all have varying lifestyles and careers. Marc has numerous revenue streams to avoid going back into the corporate world along with pursuing his creative and active needs. His days can be spent in the home of a struggling student whom he tutors or he can be found at a park or track training one of his clients to achieve their physical goals. But what he loves most aside from competing, is writing stories for the television medium.
Marc also has a love interest in his life who gives him reason to smile with joy, or frown in despair during a single evening together. Through the ups and downs, he deeply wants more out of their relationship but struggles to find the perfect elixir to attain his desires with Diane Klick, his beautiful legal professional girlfriend. Their relationship baffles those close to Marc but they never reveal their true feelings about her to him.
Marc manages his time well so that he can train at a level which will catapult him to the top of the ranks of masters’ track and field.
Bernard Kelly has been separated from his wife, Brenda, for close to a year but he hasn’t allowed it to shut down his day to day existence. He works at a San Diego high school as a track coach and part time teacher. Bernard has bigger plans for himself but is slow to move on them. He enjoys his secondary role of mentor for those young men in search of someone who cares. Bernard gets hyped when he comes up with a plan that he feels strongly about and can usually get others to follow along.
In Bernard’s perfect world, he would love to have Brenda back in his life to share his triumphs and eventually begins to move in that direction.
Greg Jackson owns a couple of car washes which support his lifestyle. He was able to put aside money from his days as an elite international sprinter. Greg also makes sure the people in his life are people he can trust every since his wife left him and took their daughter with her. Although still extremely talented, he needed to be coaxed back onto the track by an old friend. Once committed to pursuing historic goals, he finds the love for the sport that was responsible for his rather comfortable lifestyle.
The largest void in Greg’s life is not being able to spend more time with his daughter something which he has shared with only a select few.
Danny Epps has the best of all worlds in the eyes of many. He has two beautiful children and a loving supportive wife. Nearly all of his decisions are based on how it affects his family. Similar to Bernard, Danny works with young people in the capacity of a high school science teacher. He and his wife are searching for ways to ensure a financially secure future for their children as well as for themselves. Danny’s son looks to follow in his footsteps and finds nothing better than spending time with his father.
Danny’s drive is admired by his friends who support his endeavors and in return he figures out a way to help others in need.
These four men form a formidable team that is determined to break records not to be approached for years to come. They realize that they will need competition to achieve this goal and decide send a challenge to an equally talented quartet from the New York City tri-state area. Along the way, they become closer as friends and embark on a remarkable spring and summer of triumphs tempered with some disappointments that keep the pages turning.
The Tri-state Allstars have been running together longer than their west coast counterparts and have goals of their own both in their personal and athletic lives.
Alan Simpson is the heart of group on the track even though he is the youngest. His life has become more troublesome since his wife Linda was diagnosed with a serious medical condition. They are the proud parents of twin girls and manage to keep a positive outlook on the hand that they were dealt. Alan reaches out to his teammates and at times his rivals on the west coast for the support that he needs from time to time. He is the rock that his wife and children go to for comfort.
Alan uses his competitions to escape reality just long enough to recoup his strength and deal with a difficult situation at home.
Dr. Beree Riggins is at the top of his profession and must decide whether or not to accept the opportunity of a lifetime thousands of miles away from the life that he loves so dearly. He has and wants to do it all in every area of his life. He has played a major role in the lives of some very fortunately individuals who have been under his care. Beree’s talent is not limited to the operating room as he is considered a serious threat whenever he steps on the track.
Dr. Riggins’ decision will have a ripple effect not only on the medical front but quite possibly on the track as well.
Gil Edwards is the oldest but not the least bit old in his demeanor. His comfortable position at a Cola distribution center is threatened due to the underhand tactics of a coworker. He’s beginning to think that maybe he needs a change in his life but before he makes any major moves he also wants to make history with his fellow track athletes.
Gil is determined to show his younger mates how to get the job done on the biggest stage of their sport.
Mick Kellog, the spiritual center of the octet, tries to overcome the bad blood that has developed between him and his son Josh. His wife would love nothing better than to see the two men in her life work through their issues. Mick wants to move up in his church where he works and serves as a deacon. He reaches out across the country to his friend and competitor, Danny, to help in his most current predicament.
Mick hopes that he can one day have the father and son relationship that he has prayed for.
After receiving and accepting the challenge from the West Coast Allstars, the Tri-State Allstars reeve up their focus to meet and defeat the challenge. All eight men go about their journey to history in their own individual ways. Each of them will face unique obstacles but often times call on one another to get through them. With the pressure of performing in front of thousands of rabid fans, dreams are both realized and crushed in an instant.
When one of the characters is called on for a life changing favor, he has to look inside himself to see if he can do it. Another member of the octet is finally seeing his dreams come true while another has to deal with disappointment of different kind. The season is only half over when competing takes a backseat to more pressing concerns for several of the characters. At the same time, the rest of the crew marches on to even greater heights at a season ending event you must read to believe.
‘That Masterful Season’ reads as fast as its characters run but doesn’t feel rushed. It will move and inspire you to do what truly brings you joy.
In deciding how to approach this project, I felt that it needed to be based on an area where I could write forever and enjoy every moment of the project. I’ve always been a competitive person according to my father who liked to tell the story of how, as a toddler, I went up to other small children and challenged them in one way or another. As I grew older, my main competitive field was the classroom where it was very important for me to do as well as any other student if not better. Later in childhood, I began to feel more confident about my athletic abilities even though some of my peers tried to discourage me in numerous ways.
Like most teens, I struggled through a period where I felt totally alone even though I had a large and loving family. It seemed that I couldn’t find true bonding friendships until I made a decision to simply pursue my dreams on my terms and find happiness in that. At that point, I saw life through a clearer and brighter lens and life was suddenly much more joyous. A major turning point came in high school when I joined the track team. Although there were some rough patches, I became completely focused on becoming the best runner that I could possibly be. Most members of the team were supportive and we bonded very well together. I went on to win medals and trophies at every level of competition including local, state, regional, and even national.
When I entered Hampton University, I came in with a boatload of confidence and a bit of arrogance according to some of my closest friends. I joined the Pershing Rifles drill team which was just like a fraternity and there I had finally felt the male bonding that I so eagerly wanted to experience. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated was up next and that took the whole bonding thing to another level. Those two organizations really helped me develop closer relationships with the males in my own family. Fortunately, I’d pretty much always had fine relationships with females but as a man, I felt it was extremely important to develop long lasting relationships with members of my own gender if I was going to be successful in life.
Once I moved to Los Angeles, I knew that I was ready to take on any and everything that I had a desire to do. I started keeping personal journals at different stages in my life that I felt would be interesting to read many years down the line. Eventually I started to share them with others who said that I had a skilled for telling interesting stories in my writing. I didn’t think much about it then and continued sharing my travel and athletic experiences with family and friends.
I began competing in all-comers track meets shortly after arriving to the west coast and became hooked on the sport once again. Through all of the Hollywood parties, ventures in entertainment, several career changes and numerous relationships, competing against the best on my level remained a constant. I was told about masters’ track by a fellow athlete and quickly became a member of that circuit. There I found a new group of friends who shared my passion for competing and bonding away from the daily grind of earning a nice living.
And this is where ‘THAT MASTERFUL SEASON’ was born.