An Uncomplicated LIfe
Jillian Daugherty was born with Down syndrome. The day her parents, Paul and Kerry, brought her home from the hospital, they were flooded with worry and uncertainty, but also with overwhelming love, which they channeled to “the job of building the better Jillian.” They knew their daughter had special needs, but they refused to have her grow up needy. They were resolved that Jillian’s potential would not be limited by preconceptions of who she was or what she could be.
In this charming and often heart-stirring book, Paul tells stories about JIllian making her way through the world of her backyard and neighborhood, going to school in a “normal” classroom, learning to play soccer and ride a bike. As she grows older, he traces her journey to find happiness and purpose in her adult life, including vignettes about her inspiring triumphs and the guardian angels – teachers, neighbors, friends – who believed in Jillian and helped her become the exceptional young woman she is today.
In An Uncomplicated LIfe, the parent learns as much about life from the child as the child does from the parent. Being with JIllian, Paul discovered the importance of every moment and the power of the human spirit – how we are each put here to benefit the other. Through her unmitigated love for others, her sparkling charisma, and her boundless capacity for joy, Jillian has inspired those around her to live better and more fully. As Paul writes, “Jillian is a soul map of our best intentions,” a model of grace, happiness, and infectious enthusiasm. She embraces all that she is, all that she has – “I love my life. I just love my life,” she says.
In her uncomplicated life, we see the possibility, the hope, and the beauty of our own.
Catch Every Ball
Johnny Bench never had it easy. When he was six years old, he picked cotton for two cents a pound to afford a new pair of blue jeans. When he was seventeen, the bus that carried him and his high school teammates home from a baseball game flipped over a guardrail on an Oklahoma highway. Bench escaped with a gash on his elbow. Two of his friends died in the wreck.
In September 1972, Bench’s doctors discovered a spot on his lung. The former National League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player played the rest of that season not knowing what was wrong with him. He won a second Most Valuable Player Award.
Bench made Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team and was the catcher on the Big Red Machine, two exclusive clubs of the 1970”s. After retiring, he launched a successful broadcasting career. More recently, he has made his living as a motivational speaker.
Catch Every Ball is an accumulation of wisdom gleaned from 60 years of living. Bench uses examples from his own life and playing career, as well as knowledge gathered from other successful people in all walks of life, to offer a guide to success anyone can relate to.
Follow his life through the cotton fields of Oklahoma to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Meet some of the people who have influenced him along the way: Bob Hope, Arnold Palmer, Sparky Anderson, Joe Morgan and Bob Knight, among others. Allow Bench’s wisdom to help you Catch Every Ball.
CHAD: I Can’t Be Stopped
For three hours on Sunday, Number Eighty-Five is the dancing life of the party. But Chad Johnson’s boisterous game day personality belies his generally quiet demeanor away from the field. For the rest of the week, he could just as easily be sitting alone in the corner of the ballroom.
CHAD: I Can’t Be Stopped, written by acclaimed CIncinnati Enquirer sports columnist Paul Daugherty, chronicles the life and fast-track career of the National Football League’s most colorful player.
And it isn’t always what you’d expect.
The Chad Johnson whose end zone antics prompted the NFL to tighten its rules regarding touchdown celebrations is also the Chad Johnson who is asleep most nights by 10 p.m. The Johnson who proposed to a Ben-Gal cheerleader after scoring a touchdown during the 2005 season spends much of his off-season at his grandmother’s house, where he grew up.
CHAD: I Can’t Be Stopped discovers both Chads. And in so doing, it offers a portrait of a man whose life from a very early age has been defined by the game he plays. And whose brashness is both a self-motivator and an innocent expression of joy.
Johnson’s career path, from the urban fields of the Liberty City section of Miami – where football was both a way of life and a way out_ to the glamour of the Pro Bowl, is filled with guardian angels who taught Chad how to be a player and a man. You’ll meet Charles Collins, Johnson’s receivers coach/guru, who has taught him on the field and cursed him off it, even at halftime of an NFL game; T-Dog Craig and Sam Johnson, Liberty City mentors who guided Chad through the minefield of growing up; and Johnson’s grandmother, Bessie Mae Flowers, who raised him from the time he was 5 years old.
The player that has emerged is a perennial Pro Bowler, a man who wants nothing less than to be the best wide receiver who ever played the game – and is well on his way.
Three times a week columnist Paul Daugherty supplants the morning caffeine of thousands of readers in Cincinnati – and three states around – with a jolt of deadbolt honesty and opinion sharp enough to peel the cliches off the nearest sportscaster.
With an innate ability to spot pretense and hypocrisy Daugherty is the sporting landscape’s anti-snob, an ideal companion on the next bar stool, if (in addition to buying), this companion were possessed of extreme clarity, inside information, and an original mother tongue.
This collection spans the rich sporting life of Cincinnati in essentially the last decade of the twentieth century, beginning with the joyous and eccentric Super Bowl run of 1988. Through these essays, the reader replays the World Series win of 1990, the fall of Pete Rose and the rise of UC basketball, the demise of Ickey Woods and the comeback of Boomer Esiason. Transported by Daugherty”s witty, fluid essays, a constellation of stars – famous, infamous, and obscure – forms the Cincinnati cluster: Tough guys (Tim Krumrie and Marge Schott), fiery guys (Lou Piniella and Bob Huggins), little guys (James Brooks and Bret Boone), and just plain characters (Rob Dibble and Deion Sanders), all bound together by the fleeting nature of sporting mortalitiy.
Daugherty, too, is a tough guy; his aggressively democratic-with-a-small-d pieces have a no-nonsense, blue-collar sensibility, spiked with a subtle streak of irreverence. He even manages to hold onto his Populist leanings while playing golf. “Don’t be embarrassed,” he tells the reader. “Golf humbles everyone. And no matter how bad you play, there is always someone worse.”
Reaction of his readers runs the gamut from high praise to the occasional death threat. “I am fortunate,” Daugherty says, “to work in a polite town.” HIs best fans, however, embrace what is perhaps any columnist’s best virtue – no agenda. This in no way suggests he is not thoroughly engaged; it means, simply, that, owned by no one, he belongs to everyone. “I merely write what I think,” says Daugherty. “I provoke, honestly.”