I’m just a few days away from officially releasing my book A Gold Medal Man: Biography of Kenneth “Tug” Wilson at a book signing at the Atwood-Hammond Public Library. I’ve been working on the pre-event publicity, sending media releases to central Illinois media in hopes to attract a gathering.

This evening I received a telephone call from Frank Nickell who learned about the book in an Atwood-area newspaper he reads despite living in Cape Giardeau, Missouri. I was surprised to learn he knew my grandfather, Earl J. Curry and my dad, Patrick Curry. You see, Mr. Nickell — Dr. Frank Nickell — grew up a farm near Atwood and graduated from high school there in 1953.

In high school he played football, basketball and was a member of the track team. Working on the school’s newspaper and serving as the sports editor were among his other school activities.

As an Atwood native and an athlete, the book naturally drew Mr. Nickell’s attention. He also is interested because Mr. Nickell is a historian, a former faculty member of Southeast Missouri State University’s for 44 years and worked for the State Historical Society of Missouri.

He is considered an expert on Southeast Missouri history and has written dozens of books. He told me he knew about Tug Wilson and always had wanted to write a book about him.

I guess I beat him to it, but we both agree recognizing Tug’s contributions to amateur sports is something that is needed to be done.