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American Teachers Series
Los Angeles, 1968: Happy Ranch to Watts
by T. Lloyd Winetsky
Book III in the American Teachers Series
A series with backstories that reveal bitter cynicism
and uplifting idealism in American education.
Praise for Los Angeles, 1968: Happy Ranch to Watts
Write what you know is lesson one for creative writing. Yakima educator and author T.
Lloyd Winetsky does it in spades with his new book, Los Angeles, 1968: Happy Ranch to Watts.
A fictional story based on personal experiences, Winetsky’s third novel is set in an urban
Los Angeles middle school enflamed with racial unrest, gangs and vandals run amok.
The year is 1968 and the story unfolds over a period of about six weeks leading up to and
including the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Winetsky’s first teaching post was actually a seventh-grade classroom in South Central Los
Angeles. Those experiences shape Los Angeles, 1968 through the prism of Allen, a heavy-set
ne’er-do-well enlisted as a mid-year emergency substitute teacher at a middle school in the
LA ghetto named for Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court.
It’s Allen’s first real full-time job after failed tries that included a short-lived stint
with the Peace Corps.
Winetsky sets the table nicely and immerses us in Allen’s daily struggles with school politics,
friendships and successes in coaxing poetry out of students facing hardships and dangers unimaginable.
There are switchblades, guns, fights and injuries involving students and Allen has to watch his
back more than once.
Beyond the day-to-day question of whether Allen and his students survive this urban warfare, there is
the question of whether Allen will stick with his new-found teaching profession.
That answer arrives at the end of this 272-page quick read.
~ John Fannin, The Daily Sun News
Having read Terry Winetsky's earlier books, Grey Pine and Maria Juana's Gift, I
was excited to hear a third book was underway. "Ranch" came through with the same powerful
punch! This author is in his characters and writes from the heart. He ably transfers his
passions into words. Congratulations on another Great Book!!
~ Barb Dixon
Los Angeles, 1968: Happy Ranch To Watts by T. Lloyd Winetsky is a story that reflects the
changing paradigms of a nation, society, and its educational systems. Equally important, it
is also the story of changing dynamics between people of diverse racial backgrounds that is
still relevant today.
Although he is inexperienced, Allen Greene's ability to challenge, nurture, motivate and set
high expectations for his students is unusual indeed. His ability to look beyond the color
of his students and their backgrounds sets him apart from the majority of the staff.
A climactic showdown with a band of gangsters, then another with a sinister teacher don't
jibe with the rapport Allen has developed with many students and his teaching mentor. He is
torn between the stark negatives of the school environment and his newly found sense of service.
Winetsky's historical novel chronicles the struggles of our society along with Allen's everyday
dealings with staff, students and administration. Los Angeles, 1968: Happy Ranch To Watts is
truly inspirational, a must read for anyone concerned about the conditions that have plagued
our schools from past to present.
~ Steve Mitchell, CEO, Yakima Valley Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC)
Terry L. Winetsky is an author who knows how to craft a story and pull the audience in with
true-to-life issues and complicated characters who command attention.
Terry L. Winetsky stuns avid readers of history, classic pop culture of the sixties, and passionate
subjects with Los Angeles, 1968: Happy Ranch to Watts, a tale dedicated to peaceful heroes, and
the lives they managed to change forever. Before the end, the audience knows right away how powerful
and inspiring the story will be. Adult readers, and some mature younger adults will enjoy this book
for the intensity and honesty of the writing.
In a delicate and yet straight-to-the-point way, Winetsky shows the reader a side of history that is
so very important to remember in today's world. Issues of race, a struggle to find one's place in the
world, and the battle between right and wrong are all prominent topics in Los Angeles, 1968: Happy
Ranch to Watts. Things are never as they seem at first glance, and every person has a story to tell.
The main character is a teacher trying to get by in a difficult situation, and making the most of it.
The reader will find this character driven by a desire to change the students' lives for the better.
Vivid descriptions of the Los Angeles setting, the experiences of the characters, and even the
thoughts of characters fill each page. Meanwhile, the pacing of Los Angeles, 1968: Happy Ranch to
Watts is comfortable, keeping the story unfolding at a solid speed. Terry L. Winetsky writes in
complex layers, yet the story is easy to follow. Beyond that, the reader will have a great time
following each of the character's motivations and developments throughout the story.
Los Angeles, 1968: Happy Ranch to Watts by Terry L. Winetsky comes highly recommended for purchase,
as the story will go above and beyond the expectations of readers. There is so much going on within
this book. As a result, readers will want this on their bookshelves to read again and again. Terry L.
Winetsky is an author who knows how to craft a story and pull the audience in with true-to-life
issues and complicated characters who command attention.
~ GoodbooksToday.com Reviews
T. Lloyd Winetsky grew up in Los Angeles and has taught ESL and Bilingual Education to students
of all ages in the Southwest and Northwest. Now retired from full-time teaching, Terry is
currently a part-time ESL instructor for adult farm workers. María Juana's Gift is the author's
second novel. His first, Grey Pine (2007), is a psychological-historical novel set during the
ash fall from Mount St. Helens in 1980. His third novel, also historical fiction, is Los Angeles,
1968: Happy Ranch to Watts, published in 2014—it takes place in a South-Central Los Angeles school
during the volatile spring of 1968. A fourth novel, Belagana-Belazana, is planned for release in
2016. It takes place in the Navajo Nation, where Winetsky and his spouse, Kathleen, taught for
several years. Pen-L Publishing will release Belagana-Belazana plus new editions of the first
three books in Winetsky's "American Teachers" series. Terry and Kathleen live in the Yakima Valley
of Central Washington.
Learn more about him at www.TLWinetsky.com.