Category: Books

The Horse that Swam Away!

Here’s a local Venice story that came out today in the Gondalier.
Click on the book to see the newspaper story.
Those early days on the beach …. while I was trying to catch a manta ray’s tail!!

Dolphins, sharks, pirates, manta rays and those wild TURTLES!! Oh my!

 

Tim and Al Marah Athena (TENA) are the heros in this book of Dad’s set in Venice, Florida.

https://www.yoursun.com/venice/arts_entertainment/growing-up-farley-life-in-the-shadow-of-venice-s/article_5aebbada-b23b-11e9-b3ea-1f2efa903287.html

 

A couple pages from the book;

This one I think is very interesting as Ben Stahl was writing “BlackBeard’s Ghost” at the same time (1965) which became a Disney movie.  All the ‘kids’ went to school together at Out-of-Door on Siesta Key.
The Stahls lived just up the road on Casey Key.

 

 

Don’t forget to stop by the shop!!

 

A Hidden Pearl Harbor Pearl

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To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor tragedy here is part of a seldom seen book Dad wrote back in 1942. “Larry and the Undersea Raider” was the next book after Random House published his very successful “The Black Stallion“.

Before Dad enlisted in the Army he went west to his dreamland, Hawaii! He had grown up in NY with the snow and cold but was a good athlete. As an accomplished track and tennis player he excelled at many sports besides horseback riding. He loved riding as much as any “boarder” but he couldn’t afford a horse, as much as he wished, and the closest he could get was working on his uncle Bill’s farm and going to the Belmont race track.

When he received his advance for “The Black Stallion” from the publisher he jumped at the chance and took a train out west, visited a few horse farms, then boarded a freighter on to Oahu. The visit obviously made quite an impression as “… Undersea Raider” and the Hawaiian islands are key elements of this book. The boy’s adventure story centers around life in the military and the Japanese threat to Pearl Harbor. The exciting ending has the heroes, an American boy and his Hawaiian best friend, foiling an attack on the harborl!!

Tragically shortly after the book was published the attack actually happened, not quite like in this book but so, so much worse. Undoubtedly a “Day to Remember”.

Far all my surfing friends you will enjoy these first few chapters. There is even a reference to surfing’s “godfather”, Duke Kahanamoku, who Dad surfed with at Waikiki Beach back in the day!

Enjoy the story and don’t forget to pick up a few things for Christmas … the shop will be closed from December 15 through New Years as we are going on our own adventure!

A huge Happy Birthday to our son Michael who is out at sea – somewhere near Central America – WE love you!!

LARRY AND THE UNDERSEA RAIDER (click below for pdf)

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Searching for that special Christmas gift?

janbook

Here’s a wonderful book written by our good friend Jan Carr. Not exactly a mouse in the barn … but if you know any girls that love to dance it’s a winner!!
A great book to read out loud.
Buy it at your local bookshop or online here.

Keep on writing Jan and we’ll keep on reading!
Here’s a well deserved review and a bit of the story;

From Booklist
All the tension and beauty of the ballet are magnified in this melodramatic mouse tale. Little Tendu (that’s “Stretch” for us English speakers) scampers gracefully through all areas of a beautiful old-fashioned ballet theater as he flees a predatory cat, broom-wielding custodian, and gang of ruthless rats until he finds the perfect home: the lamb’s-wool-lined toe of a pink-satin pointe shoe. In this new picture book from Carr (Greedy Apostrophe, 2007), the reader gets a mouse’s-eye view of the theater’s murky back passages, costume workshop, and the chandelier-lit theater itself, with its velvet seats and ornate plasterwork. Like a character in a classic ballet, our adventurous rodent hero experiences rapture, terror, and longing before finding a safe haven—and a new friend—in a dancer’s quiet dressing room. Bell’s digitally colored pencil illustrations are full of soft hues, rounded sketchy lines, and lots of chintzy ribbons and roses, which give the story a classic, nostalgic look. Hand this to aspiring ballerinas who can’t get enough of the ballet world. Grades K-2. –Paula Willey

Of course, if there is a horse around the house come in and visit the Gift Shop!

MERRY CHRISTMAS and Enjoy the Ride!
Your pals in the saddle, Tim and Pam

Racing The Black

… and now the rest of the story!

dad writing

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b&w Rearing web
Hi!
Thought you might like these questions and answers from some students in the Horse Tales Literacy Program.
www.HorseTales.org
Enjoy your Sunday Ride.
And stop at the Ranch on your way home:-}

Subject: 4th grade questions

Message Body:
Dear Mr. Farley,
My name is Mr. Dan Range and I co- teach 4th grade vocabulary with Mrs. Garcia
in the Gadsden Elementary school district. We are located in San Luis, Arizona.
During our class time for the last month Mrs. Garcia and I have been reading
your fathers book “The Black Stallion” to the students as a read aloud. We just
finished this morning and the students have some questions that they would like
to ask of you in regards to your father’s book.
1. How did your father develop the character of Alec. Was he based on people he
knew in school or was there a particular family member that resembled his
personality.
2. Is the “Black Stallion based on actual events”
3. What made you and you brother decide to continue your father’s legacy in
regards to writing and literacy?
The students enjoyed the story of the Black stallion, so much so that we are
going to show the movie on Friday. Thank you for your commitment to literacy and
for writing and preserving such great American literature. The students look
forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,
Mr. Range and Mrs. Garcia
Arizona Deserts 4th grade class.

Dear Mr. Range, Mrs Garcia and students,
My dad started writing” the Black Stallion” on his parent’s kitchen table when he was only a bit older than your students, sixteen. He had never owned a pony or a horse but had the opportunity to work with his Uncle Bill at a farm in upstate NY. There was plenty of work and many tall tales about horses of all kinds from his uncle. One that was repeated often was about Uncle Bill’s experience in World War 1;
Bill served as a veterinarian in the Army Equestrian Corps, there were many horses used in battles at that time. If you have seen the movie “War Horse” it shows the pain and tragedy of that war, and Uncle Bill’s job was to keep the horses sound and fit.
One evening a cry went up that the base camp was being attacked and Bill jumped out of his tent to see a lone man on a huge black horse charging toward him, bomb in hand!! Bill knew that if the solider managed to throw the bomb many of his friends would die and he had to do something NOW. He raised his pistol and fired without hesitation. The shot killed the rider instantly, before he had a moment to react, and he and his bomb fell to the ground harmlessly. Uncle Bill had saved the camp, his friends and officers, he was a hero!
The Captain of the base was so impressed by Bill’s swift action he asked him what he wanted as a reward. Uncle Bill knew exactly what he wanted – that Huge Black Stallion!
From then on the German horse and Bill were inseparable – traveling all over Europe as war raged and, like Alexander The Great’s horse Bucephalus, he saved Uncle Bill’s life more than once. Finally the war finished and it was time to go home. Like thousands of other soldiers Bill made his way to France where he was to board a ship back to America. When he arrived he soon learned there was no room for his most important possession, his horse. He had to make a painful decision – his family or his stallion.
Bill found a farmer in a nearby town who would take his beautiful black stallion and with tears in his eyes he left Black with the farmer, promising to return soon.
It was years later before Bill could get the money to go back but that big horse was a treasure he wasn’t going to lose! His big stallion became the sire of many fine race horses for Uncle Bill, who treated him with love and care for the rest of his life.
This is the way the story was told to me.

I believe this family tale and Dad’s wish to be an adventurer created Alec Ramsay. Often as my father would run on the beach, he was a track runner in school, and I would wonder who he was – Alec or the Black? He seemed to be both of them at different times but his fascination with horses of all types and that special feeling of connection between human and animal was a constant. Dad didn’t want sad stories about horses, books like “Black Beauty” and later “King of the Wind”, he wanted exciting adventure and wild horses! The Black Stallion gave him the ability to meet people in all walks of life from jockeys and trainers to presidents, kings and movie stars. He was able to ride the Black Stallion around the world doing what he like best – having adventures and writing about horses.
You never know where your dreams might take you!

I grew up with my dad’s closest friend, the Black Stallion, and he was a real part of the family. Dad was able to own a few horses later in life but that special mystery horse was the BIG brother of the family. When I was just out of college I started working on the Black Stallion films as a photographer (attached pix). That was an fantastic adventure that took me from the race tracks of California to the Sahara desert in Africa. I worked with many exciting people and saw magic come to life – like the rainbow scenes at the end of the Black Stallion film.
We started our literacy program with family friend Mark Miller and Al-Marah Arabians. Mark was best friends with my sister Pam and she is the inspiration for the books “Black Stallion and the Girl” and “Black Stallion Legend”.
Mark had a wonderful horse theater, Arabian Nights, in Orlando, Florida and I always hoped we could do something together. Horse Tales started as a small idea that used my dad’s books and his horses to tell a story that made reading fun. It was hard at the beginning but after the first year we knew we couldn’t stop – too many teachers and students enjoyed the program. We’ve now had over a million students participate in ten states and three countries.

You can read more about my dad’s life; https://theblackstallion.com/web/author/
Don’t forget to join the forum – you never know who you might meet there; https://theblackstallion.com/web/mb/
We have contests and discussion about horses, writing, movies … all kinds of topics.
Join us on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/alec.ramsay.96
Check up on the happenings at the Florida farm on FaceBook; https://www.facebook.com/almaraharabianhorses
And in Arizona; http://www.al-marah.com/
Thanks for writing … and reading!
Tim & Pamela Farley
www.theblackstallion.com
www.HorseTales.org