The college football season starts this week, and for those of us from Ohio, no matter where we live in the country, that means Ohio State football. In my family, you're born a Buckeye, an Ohio State fan, whether or not you ever grow up to go there. My grandfather, an aunt and uncle, my sister and brother-in-law, and cousins all went to Ohio State. Every member of my family flies an OSU flag made by my mother. Rich Wolfe's For Buckeye Fans Only! was so popular in my hometown of Huron, Ohio, that my mother had to go to a neighboring town to buy more copies for presents. My husband and I both appreciated the copy she gave him.
It's a chatty book, with everything a Buckeye would love. There are chapters featuring famous Buckeye fans, such as Jack Nicklaus and R.L. Stine. Coaches talk about Woody Hayes and Ohio State football. Former football players talk about their years at the school. It includes jokes about Michigan and Ohio State. One section is made up of the every Sports Illustrated cover devoted totally to Ohio State, in color. The sidebars with trivia are fascinating.
Some of the stories are truly inspiring, such as the one told by a former OSU player and state senator, Dick Schafrath, who went back to finish college and got his degree at seventy. Woody Hayes and Jim Tressel might not seem to be similar, but the stories told by their fans show them as more than coaches. They were men who gave their time and talents to those that needed them, the charities, the children's hospitals, the community.
There are even articles by the not-so-ordinary fans. Larry Lokai has only been Buckeyeman for nine years. But, in that time, the man who dresses in the long, ugly red wig has given away hundreds of buckeye necklaces to other fans. He's a regular on television shots at the games. And, I can attest to the fact that he carries those necklaces with him since I received one from him when he stopped in at my library in Florida.
For Buckeye Fans Only! is a collection of memories. It truly is a collection for fans because others won't always appreciate the stories and jokes. But, it's a book that brings together readers and Buckeyes who support the team, no matter where they live in the country. Rich Wolfe specializes in this type of book, articles and collected memories. I'm a Buckeye, born and bred, but I'm still tempted to look for his book, For Notre Dame Fans Only - The New Saturday Bible. That one has to have wonderful memories. But, for any Buckeye, this is the book to own.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.