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In the 1950s, young business students were taught to hire on with a large corporation, climb from entry level up the ladder one step at a time until one reached their career goal. Though author Gary P. Perkins lacked an advanced degree from a prestigious institution of higher education, he had a great advantage. He hailed from a long line of hard-rock miners who had pounded through granite in Britain and later, soft limestone when they harvested the precious minerals of America in the nineteenth century. He knew, firsthand, the value and rewards of hard work.

In Above the Grass¸ he narrates the story of his personal journey and his business accomplishments, including background about his family history and his English/Cornish roots—from childhood and youth, to service in the US Navy, to business college, his career path, marriage, birth of children, personal challenges, and retirement.

Perkins’s story covers his journey from an entry-level position in 1961 to corporate president in 1980, despite a burden of alcoholism that progressed at about the same rate. When he realized he couldn’t win the battle with the bottle, he entered and completed a treatment program and has been in recovery since. Throughout the story, Above the Grass communicates the mainstays of Perkins’ life, values inherited from his ancestors and nurtured by his family and small town.

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