reporter Jim Huber tells the story of his father's terminal illness and the transformative effect it had on their relationship in his fine new memoir, A Thousand Goodbyes. In their last six months together, Huber and his father bridged the emotional distance that had lain between them for years to find authentic compassion and love. An Emmy award-winning journalist, Huber, in telling the life story of his father, realized for the first time that his success grew not only from his own hard work, but from the foundation provided by his parents. It's an emotional journey that he writes about with admirable honesty and a fresh eye for the father-son relationship.
In 1998, 78-year-old Bob Huber discovered he had liver disease, apparently resulting from a tainted blood transfusion nearly five decades earlier. Despite the diagnosis, Huber, who worked as an underwater welder in the Pacific during World War II and delivered mail in Ocala, Florida, before retiring, displayed a strength of character his son could only admire. Huber has produced a poignant memoir in the spirit of Tuesdays with Morrie. The book artfully weaves together stories of Huber, his father and the scores of celebrities and everyday people the author encountered in his role as a sports journalist. Personal anecdotes of golf greats Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and other sports heroes are included.
Though he reported touching stories for his television show The Sporting Life, this time around, Huber is participant rather than reporter. He handles his new role with grace and skill, consistently avoiding the twin ditches of oversweet sentimentality and forced drama that mar so many memoirs. Huber brings the reader along in such a way that he or she is not expected to merely mourn with him. Instead, readers are invited to share in a more complex realization about universal themes how we are changed forever by what we desire and by the preciousness of our relationships with those we love.
Michael Epps Utley writes from Nashville.