A new book, From Dust to Glory – A Rural Journey by author Harley Swaney has just been released by RoseDog publishing of Pittsburgh, PA.
Residents of Spink County, and in particular the Tulare area, will perhaps recall the author and his wife Shirley. Harley Swaney was born on March 1, 1932 as his parents moved onto what was then called the Gorsuch Farm. His wife Shirley was born on October 21, 1935 at the home of her mother’s Aunt Agnes of Redfield and her family lived on the family farm southwest of Tulare. Harley graduated from Bonilla High School and Shirley graduated from Tulare High School. Harley continued his studies in the fields of literature and grammar at San Antonio College and South Dakota State University. He had a desire to enter the field of journalism but military and family obligations altered his life plans.
The couple married on May 9, 1953. A series of life events would take them in and out of the area until their return to farming and eventually the purchase of the hardware store in Tulare. . Following the Swaney's marriage, Harley spent four years in the service. In 1958, he left the service and began farming near Tulare.
After farming for 20 years, the Swaney's decided to buy the hardware store from Del Foglesong. Foglesong Hardware was a franchised John Deere dealer from its beginnings until 1940. The hardware store was given the franchise to sell and service Maytag appliances sometime before 1915. The Foglesong store also sold Northrup King seeds.
"Our son wanted to farm and we didn't have enough for both of us so we bought the store for something different to do," said Harley. (Alfred C. Foglesong bought the store in 1908 and the family operated the business for 70 years until it was sold to the Swaneys.) When the Swaneys purchased the hardware store they built a new building, installing a laundromat for customers use.
After selling the store, Harley worked for the City of Tulare for a time as maintenance supervisor before the couple moved to Bellefontaine, Ohio where they now live. In 2003 Harley decided to write his autobiography for two reasons. One is his feeling that some of the most interesting stories are related by the neighbor next-door. Second, Harley Swaney has always regretted that his parents never really told their family much about their lives.
“I have always liked history and was curious about what influenced my parents and grandparents to live their particular lifestyles,” Swaney said. “It seemed they never spoke of their past, so I vowed not to leave such a legacy to my own offspring.”
So to make sure he got the story straight and out in the open for his four children, 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, Swaney wrote the book about his inspiration and motivation to live the life he did.
From Dust to Glory – A Rural Journey depicts the story of an old man named Charley who has nearly completed his life’s race and is determined to leave a legacy to future generations. The book takes you through a child’s account of life during the depression years and how the family dealt with the poverty that ensued from that time. You also travel through the emotional upheaval of his teen and high school years, and the joys and tragedies of raising a family. The author’s spiritual life is also related and how it affects the relationship with people and how it is reflected in his life’s philosophy.
The 210-page hardcover book is available at Peachtree Books & Gifts, through RoseDog Books, www.rosedogbookstore.com, or via Amazon and retails for $17.00.