Author Archive


Mulligan Update

Written by Don Reid. Posted in General



     I hear from the publisher and the powers-that-be that The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson is doing really well in the bookstores, on the online outlets and with the ebook markets.  The Statler Brothers mail order website has been jumping and I’ve been busy with phone interviews all over the country with the press.  I think I have answered every question imaginable about the who, the why and the how of the story and all its characters.  Just the other day someone asked me in an interview what my most asked questions were about the book and because it took me a few seconds to think about it, I was very impressed with the question.  I thought I’d share the answer with you.

    These are probably the three most asked questions I get from interviewers and readers alike:


Is Mt. Jefferson a real town?

     Yes, it is but it’s not known by that name.  My hometown, the place where I was born and still live is Staunton, Virginia.  It’s a small town, about 22,000, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in the mid-western part of the state.  I have stolen its identity and location and renamed it to my liking, and used it as the setting in two novels – O Little Town and The Mulligans…   Then I’ve written about it, not as it is but as it was.  I was a child in the decade of the 50s and the streets and the stores, the merchants and the people are as I see them in my sweetest of memories.  So, yes, it is very real to me.


Are any of your characters actual people you know?

    Yes, but the names have been changed to protect the guilty.  (I couldn’t resist saying that even though it is fundamentally false.)  I have never taken a complete person and transferred him or her to the page.  I do admit to taking a little of Tom, a little of Dick and a smidge of Harry and making a ‘new and improved’ character.  If any of my old or current friends (or enemies) see any of themselves in anything I write, it is only fleeting.  They can never say, “That’s me he desecrated and defiled!”  They can only say, “I think that might have been me he was thinking about.”  This not only preserves friendships, it also discourages lawsuits.



What’s the difference in writing songs and writing books?

     My standard answer is, “About 300 pages.”  But the long answer is this.  I trained myself for 40 years to tell a story inside of three minutes and make it rhyme.  Then I get this wild notion to write books and I’m told to take as long as I like.  It was like diving into a pool of chocolate.  I couldn’t believe the luxury I was being offered.  I can take months to write it; use as many pages as I desire; have as many characters as I think necessary; and don’t have to worry about a word to rhyme with orange.  (I used that example because there is no word that rhymes with orange.  Just a little tidbit that every songwriter knows.) 


   As I get more MAQs I’ll share them with you.  Right now I have to run.  I have an interview in ten minutes with someone who is just dying to ask me one of these three questions.




                                              Feb. 13, 2012


Statler Christmas Dinner

Written by Don Reid. Posted in General

     Some time every Christmas the eight of us (Statlers and wives), get together and eat dinner and reminisice.  This year it was at Boxley Farm, Harold and Brenda’s home here in Staunton.  (The only 85-acre farm inside the city limits and believe me, he’s not a farmer.  He likes to ride around on his tractor and pretend, but the only callouses he has are from the tractor seat.)  Brenda cooked as only she can and we all ate and laughed and caught up on what was happening with all the individual families .


Harold, Jimmy, Nina, Debbie, Don.  Seated – Brenda, Wilma, Phil

     The highlight each year is the four of us gathering around the piano again and singing a a few Christmas songs.  I played the piano and Jimmy played the acoustic guitar and we sang.  It didn’t come easy as the only singing Harold and I do anymore is standing in the pews on Sunday mornings.  Phil continues to sing in the choir each week, so he keeps in pretty good vocal shape.

     “Silent Night”, “Away In A Manger”, “White Christmas”.  And then someone always gets frisky and says let’s do “Hide Thou Me”.  (Usually Harold).  This is an old song from our last studio album in 2002 titled AMEN.  It has been a favorite of mine since I first heard it when I was about 12 years old.  It’s among my top most-loved songs of all time so my heart won’t let me refuse to sing it even though my voice may not be up to it. 

     When we finished the singing, and stopped laughing at the memories, we headed back to the kitchen for more dessert.  One of the girls said, “Think of all the people who would like to have been listening through a window tonight to hear you guys singing again.”  And it was then that Debbie fessed up she had recorded it all on her cellphone.   (Modern technology will be the death of me yet.)

      But I tell you all this to tell you all this;  It has been a beautiful Christmas season for us and I certainly hope it has been for you.  And I hope 2012 will be the wonderful year each of you desire.  God bless you greatly and Happy New Year!



                                                            DSR – December 27, 2011