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Rough Side of the Mountain


Please print and complete attached book order card then mail it with payment to Karl W. Merritt at PO Box 2694; Fayetteville, NC 28302.

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At its best, life is difficult. Consequently, to some extent, all of us seek ways to find success and joy in the midst of the onslaught of life’s difficulties. Milton Wayne Merritt Sr. knows something about dealing with difficulties in life and overcoming them. This book is the result of his deep-seated desire to help others navigate through the difficulties of their lives.

In his words: “My purpose in writing the book is to present a life journey that is so different from journeys being taken now by others. And when I say that, I am thinking of my journey from what I like to term ‘the rough side of the mountain.’ My life started from near nothing as you could get without it being nothing. The whole area of black people in the Deep South where I started my journey was so different, and I learned so much from it. I learned it painfully, but I learned it. And then I notice so many things that handicap young people, especially on their journey now, that would be no handicap for me at all after what I learned from the journey that I have taken. I guess the bottom line is that I would like to pass on to future generations my experiences and my achievements (that’s as modest as I can put it) in the hope that they will be able to overcome some obstacles that are serious to them—that were simple for me. My life has been full of intrigue and adventure, and I feel that my sharing will be helpful to generations to come. So that is really the bottom line when it comes to my purpose in writing this book.

“And I might add one other thing that was pointed out by some friends that I have met along the way and talked with about my life journey. They would urge me to write so that I would not carry my experiences to the grave with me. So I do not want the lessons of this journey buried with my bones. I want readers to be able to look at my lessons learned and study them and benefit from these experiences.”

Comments by Karl: With the exception of the opening paragraph, the thoughts above were shared with me by Daddy during recorded conversations we had over the course of some fourteen years starting in the early 1990s. I, Karl William Merritt, am the oldest of his six children. My wife tells me there are some twenty hours of recorded conversations. This book draws on those exchanges and my experience of growing up and old with him as my father. His life is one amazing journey, and I am blessed beyond measure to have had and continue to have a front-row seat in the classroom of his example as to how life is best lived.

I thought the task of working with him to write this book fell on me because nobody else would take it on. As I sit here writing and crying, I now realize it fell on me because I am supposed to do it. In this regard, the reasonable question is, why have I waited so long? The first reason is difficult to confront. It is that there is a piece of me that is afraid that when the book is finished, Daddy will die. Only in this moment have I had to come face-to-face with this reason for hesitancy.

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