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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Book signing Tuesday for Aikman's 'Memoirs of a Life'

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pat Aikmen
His first book -- the just-released "Memoirs of a Life" -- will "probably be my last," author and longtime Greencastle resident Pat Aikman acknowledges.

The 153-page book "unwinds all 77 years" of Aikman's interesting Hoosier existence, from his birth in the tiny town of Dana (known mostly as the hometown of famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle) to his current retirement in Greencastle.

Everything in between makes for a fun, quick read as well as Aikman expounds on his life as a DePauw University student and more than 25 years of spreading the good news for the university through his public relations and News Bureau positions.

"Memoirs of a Life" cover features Pat Akiman, all five-feet, two-inches of him, as a seventh-grade member of the Dana School Cobra basketball team.
Eli's Bookstore on Washington Street in Greencastle will be sponsoring a book signing (priced at $11.99) for Aikman on Tuesday, Aug. 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It is open to the public.

Aikman says he liked Greencastle so much that three years after he graduated from DePauw in 1957 (teaching high school in Illinois in the interim), he began a 50-year residency in Greencastle, whose population dwarfed his hometown of Dana nearly 20 times over.

Aikman began his writing career in the fourth grade when he wrote a vindictive message to Adolph Hitler that you wouldn't want repeated on a birthday card. Having flunked the greeting card business, he worked on his school's paper and later edited The DePauw campus newspaper as a senior, once interviewing then- Vice President Richard Nixon when he was on the campus.

When he returned to DePauw in 1960, Aikman came back as director of the News Bureau and sports information. In 1975 he was promoted by acting president Tom Binford to director of public relations and editor of the DePauw Alumni Magazine.

He resigned from DePauw in 1987, almost winding up in San Antonio at Trinity University, but his Hoosier roots were too firmly imbedded.

Instead, he became a commuter to the state capital, serving as promotion coordinator of The Indianapolis Star and The News with additional duties as director of the Indiana All-Star Basketball program which was a charity event involving annual twin doubleheaders with Kentucky's best high school senior boys and girls.

In that capacity over 19 years, the Indiana boys posted a 29-11 mark and the girls a 26-14 record as the games earned between $1 million and $1.5 million for Indianapolis-area charities.

Aikman retired in Carmel where he lived until from 2003 to 2011 before moving to the Asbury Towers Retirement Community in Greencastle. He began writing his newly published book, "Memoirs of a Life, All-Star Tidbits, Family Photos and Poems," in 2009.

During Tuesday's book signing, refreshments, including Starbucks coffee and homemade cookies, will be available on the balcony of the bookstore adjacent to Starbucks.

On display at Eli's Bookstore will be a gold leather basketball (shown in the book) created for the 50th anniversary of the first Indiana All-Star team, which had two players from Greencastle, Don Frazier and George Taylor. It features several signatures of former Indiana Mr. and Miss Basketballs, including Oscar Robertson, Bobby Plump, Tom and Dick VanArsdale, Judi Warren and Vicki Hall.

Also on display at Eli's will be the No.1 jerseys of All-Stars Tom Coverdale and Greg Oden.

Aikman's book also includes some "quirky for-fun poems" he wrote for family holidays and special occasions. In addition, he added in "some grandfatherly advice" for his six grandchildren in Georgia, Minnesota and Indiana.

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