My collection of fifty-five true-life stories was published a few weeks ago when I was well into my ninety-first year. Now I know what I want to do when I grow up! Included are some colorful memories from my long life. The book, titled Sunsets and Buzzards, is available from Amazon in three different formats:  Kindle e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Go to Amazon books, enter SUNSETS AND BUZZARDS and it will come up. The author’s name is Pattie Martin Macurdy, since much of the content occurred while I was still Pattie Martin, and Tennessee locals will remember me by that name. 

The title, Sunsets and Buzzards, comes from one of the chapter titles. In that chapter, a gentleman friend and I, both in our upper-eighties, set out to park his car where we could sip Frostys while watching the sun go down. Outperforming the sunset was a large flock of buzzards coming in to roost. Eventually, while searching for the buzzards, we wound up with our car disabled in the woods after dark. Shamefacedly, we had to rely on Richard’s son to rescue us. For that, we were soundly lectured by the younger generation. The title suits me for other reasons. I have always been a sky watcher and a birdwatcher and have an interest in ordinary unglamorous things like buzzards. The odd title, Sunsets and Buzzards, suits me.

Story topics range from sleeping, as a child, on homemade feather beds made of duck feathers from our Tennessee farm to being in Ava Gardner’s upscale shoe closet in Madrid, Spain. Her elegant apartment was in the same building with deposed Generalissimo Juan Peron of Argentina. The year was 1962.

Accomplished writers from Writers Alliance of Gainesville (WAG) influenced me. My children and grandchildren supported and encouraged me. My then soon-to-be granddaughter-in-law, Ellen, started a WordPress blog for me, where I posted stories which would become the book.

When the time came, my friend, Susie Baxter, masterminded the publishing, designed the cover, and magically caused three buzzards to appear in the sky beyond the old barn. The cover photo is the same as the header image on my blog, but with the magic of Photoshop, it is reversed, enlarged, and wrapped around the spine and back cover. Susie made my book look great. The smartest thing I did was request her assistance.

Due to my poor vision, the decision was made to use a larger than standard print. Several older readers have voiced their appreciation for the easy readability.

Writing these stories gave me purpose during my final years, taught me a lot, and kept my decline entertaining. My life is winding down now and it feels good to have the stories written. My children and grandchildren are excited by the book and say they are proud of me. That is reward enough for all the work I did. Hopefully, no reader will sue me for mentioning their name. No worry about my grandchildren in that regard, as they are pleased to see their names in print.

So, my collection of stories is published, and I look upon the book with considerable pride. My legacy is guaranteed. Tragedy and warts are included, along with many laughs and absurdities. It is true life.

My daughter says “If you’ve ever known an old person, or if you like to laugh, you should get this book.”  I invite you to take her advice and read Sunsets and Buzzards.


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