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Man fulfills dream with publication of book

December 10, 2008
Al Rudolph of New Salisbury has wanted to write a book for nearly the last half of his life. Now the 60-year-old has fulfilled that dream with the publication of "Tougher than Woodpecker Lips."

He said he decided on Jan. 1 if he was ever going to see his dream come to fruition, he would have to make it happen. So, he asked his friends Steve and Carolyn Wood if he could use their home in Saltillo, Tenn., as his sanctuary.

"It is the most serene place," he said of the home that overlooks the Tennessee River and is sometimes vacant.

Rudolph said he disciplined himself every day that he was there in February and March to work on the book. He was up at 6 each morning and would write all day, except for a 30-minute break at lunch and supper.

"It was much easier since I went with the intention to write," he said.

Initially, Rudolph came away from seclusion with 13 or 14 chapters of long stories.

"But two unsolicited comments from people told me they like to read short chapters," he said. "Maybe it was the Lord talking to me."

So, he broke up his material into 70 chapters only to be told that was too many for a book of this type.

"I pulled 40 chapters at random with the intention of doing a second book," he said.

The 178-page book was released in late October. It contains 40 short chapters, each addressing a theme, such as achievement, attitude, forgiveness, friendship, perseverance and worry.

Rudolph said he selected 90 subject matters, "qualities important to a person's life." Most of the issues "are of the positive nature" and should be included in one's everyday life, while others are about things people "should be aware of, just to make sure they don't take up permanent residence in our life," he said.

Some material in the book was taken from speeches Rudolph has given over the years as a member of Toastmasters International.

Each chapter concludes with Bible scripture relevant to the topic.

"I usually knew which (passage) I wanted to use," Rudolph said, although sometimes a search revealed more than one that would be appropriate.

About the title, Rudolph said he's been told his father, the late George Rudolph, used to say something similar. Al is the youngest of 12 children by George and Blanche, who is also deceased.

Rudolph grew up in the Palmyra area and graduated from Morgan Township High School in 1966. He runs his own business, Rudolph Sales & Associates, a sales agency for lighting and electrical supplies that covers the southern quarter of Indiana and all of Kentucky.

"I can't imagine ever being retired," he said.

Rudolph's wife, Linda, a retired elementary physical education teacher, has been his biggest encourager and supporter, not only while he was writing his book, but during their 39 years of marriage.

"As Christians, we really need to be encouragers," he said.

Joe Kellum and Joy Murdoch were instrumental in designing the book's cover, and Randy West edited it. Rudolph was also appreciative of Chris Graves and Mary Marshall's assistance with getting the book published.

The book, which sells for $14 (softbound) and $22 (hardbound), is available at Kellum Imprints & Trophies in Ramsey, as well as many online bookstores, including amazon.com, target.com, barnesandnoble.com and xun.com.

David Stemler of PC Building Materials in New Albany was so impressed with the book that he is buying multiple copies to give as gifts, Rudolph said.

"He's been a great source of encouragement," he said. "I've been blessed by having friends who have always been encouragers."

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