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Book I in the American Teachers Series
by T. Lloyd Winetsky
A series with backstories that reveal bitter cynicism
and uplifting idealism in American education.
Based on real events, Grey Pine is a gripping story of one man's struggle to survive amidst
the chaos of the forces of nature and the inner workings of a troubled mind.
On May 18, 1980, the eruption of Mount Saint Helens captured the attention of America. The communities
east of the Cascade Mountains were woefully unprepared for the devastation and disruption that followed,
transforming for many a bright spring day into a murky, twenty-hour night. Grey Pine is the
story of Phillip Stark, a bright and innovative young science teacher who attempts to treat the ash fall
as an opportunity for experiment and wonder, but who is constantly thwarted by the resulting havoc in
the community, and his own personal demons. As his health declines, his relationships suffer. The chaotic
and often dangerous situations with his alcoholic father, irksome neighbor, unreliable girlfriend, and
strained friendships derail any attempt to regain control of his life. All the while the omnipresent ash
from the volcanic eruption acts as a symbolic reminder of his oppression and inability to break through.
Grey Pine is a gritty account of post-Vietnam America that chronicles social ills that are not
unfamiliar to us in the present day: youth suicide, clinical depression, racial tension, alcoholism, and
the malaise from an unpopular war. Phillip must find a way to maintain his sanity and strength
to move past the obstacles created by the forces of nature—both those from without and within.
Praise for Grey Pine
Amidst the ashes, Phillip really wants to live and thrive and as I read deeper into the book,
I couldn't help but cheer him on. The story is told from the "inner" voice of the main character.
As I read the first fifty pages, I wondered if I could keep up with the intensity of his voice, yet
the more I read, the more I liked his character and wanted him to succeed in realizing himself.
This book was a great read.
~ Jillian A. Ross
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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Terry Winetsky has been an educator for more than four decades.
After a stint in the Peace Corps, his first teaching post was in South-Central L.A.—six
classes of low-income seventh-graders. It was the spring of 1968, when Martin Luther King was
assassinated. Those experiences were germane to both the setting and conflicts of his historical
novel, Los Angeles, 1968, Happy Ranch to Watts, which is Book III in the American Teachers Series.
(2014- Pen-L publishing).
After returning to college for his certification, Winetsky taught English and Spanish to students
of all ages in the Southwest and Northwest. Before retiring in 1998, he was a Bilingual/Migrant
Education specialist in Yakima, Washington, where he is now a part-time volunteer for La Casa
Hogar, tutoring adult farmworkers.
Pen-L has also republished his previous stand-alone novels, Grey Pine and María Juana's Gift,
which are now the first two books in the American Teachers Series. More information on those novels
can be found at Winetsky's website below.
Winetsky's fourth novel, Belagana-Belazana (Book IV in the American Teachers Series), published by
Pen-L in January of 2017, takes place in the Navajo Nation, where he and his spouse taught for five years.
Terry lives near Yakima with his wife of forty-seven years, Kathleen, an Early Childhood Special Education teacher.
Learn more about him at www.TLWinetsky.com.
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