Philip has spent more than sixty years living life; gaining experiences, enjoying successes, and making mistakes. He grew up on his family’s farm in New Mexico where he and his brothers and sister successfully raised and exhibited 4-H pig and lamb projects. How he survived his adventurous life on the farm is a phenomenon as yet unexplained by modern science.
After graduating from high school, he went to college, partially paid for from the proceeds from selling the pig and lamb projects. Philip was working the summer of his sophomore year in college to help pay the cost of his education when he was injured in a fall of about sixty feet from an oil service derrick. The accident almost cost him his life. He survived, but the broken back he sustained caused him to be a paraplegic wheelchair user for more than forty years. Unwilling to allow his injuries to be an impediment or discouragement for him, he returned to college the following spring and not only earned his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Economics but also went on to earn an MBA in finance, both from Texas A&M University.
Philip has held a variety of positions over a twenty five year career including financial analyst, financial executive, business owner, 4-H foundation director, and accessibility specialist. His disability forced him to retire from his career, but it hasn’t dampened his spirit or weakened his zest for life. His faith is the major reason for his positive outlook and enthusiasm for life.Philip shares some of the experiences he’s gained through writing and visiting with young people about challenges they may face in their own lives. He does so in his own way; he likes to find humor whenever possible, he wants people to learn about things they may not have known before, and he likes to offer life lessons when appropriate.
Potential Topics for Author Visits
Philip speaks to children, teens, college students, and adults. The following list includes talks that address some of the questions he hears most frequently. In addition, he can customize a talk specific to your school or groups’ needs.
How and why I decided to write Rusti. Why sharing these stories, experiences, and lessons learned is important to me.
How I came to be a paraplegic wheelchair user.
What it’s like to live life as a paraplegic.
What it was like when I was injured more than 40 years ago.
How it has evolved to what it is now.
How to cope with life-changing events and circumstances.
Importance of faith, family, attitude, self-perception, and determination.
Learning to be adaptable.
Understanding how other people will try to affect you – both positively and negatively. Learning to be unwilling to allow negative people and/or negative events/circumstances to determine how you live your life.