The Works of Gerry A. Zimmerman

Legacy of the Gray Ghost

The genre of the book is HISTORICAL FICTION. There are many stories and sub stories within the book, but the basis from which the story is built upon is about a real person. The legendary John Mosby led a band of Confederate cavalrymen on daring raids deep behind Union lines during the Civil War. His ability to strike quickly and successfully using intelligence and cunning against almost insurmountable odds and then be able to seemingly disappear, earned him the name of the GRAY GHOST.

Following the descriptions of Mosby and his activities both during and after the Civil War, the story morphs into a fictional tale of how one of his young raiders founded a family that eventually became very successful and, in honor of the old Gray Ghost, establishes Mosby University in 1908. This private all men's school is located in the heart of the N. Virginia area where Mosby led many of his raids. There are many elements to the story as it will introduce a reader to steeplechase racing, polo playing, and fox hunting as well as the ambiance and pleasures of life in the beautiful "horse country" of northern Virginia.

The book will also feature the various groups of students and many of the athletes at the school. I'm willing to bet that you will find yourself laughing at some of the hilarious antics of this cast of characters during the era of the late 50's in gentlemanly Virginia. As the story moves along, you will meet Willie Hairston, who evolves into the book's central character. Willie is a person who rose up from poverty and is a strong believer that having a positive ATTITUDE is the key to handling life's challenges.

The very exclusive and highly regarded Mosby University emphasizes academics and doesn't offer athletic scholarships. It's football program during 1958 (the school's 50th anniversary year) is in danger of being canceled due to it's lack of success and the failing health of it's aging coach. Willie, who is the first black student to be enrolled at the university, comes up with a unique suggestion to the Board, but isn't sure if they will listen and accept it.

Any reader who enjoys FOOTBALL will find themselves cheering for the out-manned and underdog Mosby Raider team during the historic '58 season as the team tries to emulate the old Gray Ghost's techniques of surprise and intelligence against their opponents. But many people are doubtful that those principles can succeed against teams like the powerful unbeaten Oakmont Outlaws who are coached by the feared and irascible Irv Swindle, who seems to take delight in crushing his opponents. The esteemed Piedmont Pinnacle Trophy is on the line and going to the winner of the game between Oakmont and Mosby University and Mosby has never won it. So, why should this year be any different? Read this exciting tale and find out.

Mosby's Raiders Return
MOSBY’S RAIDERS RETURN is the SEQUEL to the author’s award winning book, LEGACY of the GRAY GHOST. The book picks up where LEGACY left off. Mosby's Raiders Return describes the events during the next year in 1959 and the challenges Coach Willie Hairston and his Mosby University football team face due to graduations and injuries.

Although school integration had been mandated by the US Supreme Court in 1954, many politicians in Virginia were resisting along with influential people who preferred to keep things the way they always were. When the president of Mosby University decides to offer young men of color the opportunity to attend this prestigious, formerly all-white men’s university, he faces a lot of criticism from some of the alumni. Many of these same critics had already disagreed with the previous year’s decision to employ a black coaching staff for the team. When a few black players join the team in 1959, these critics were outraged.

While the story is fiction, many of the feelings and attitudes described were reflective of that era. Readers who like football and like to cheer for the underdog should enjoy MOSBY’S RAIDERS RETURN. Also, the antics of the various groups of students at the university should guarantee the reader plenty of laughs to go along with the cheers and provide a picture of college life in South in the late 50’s.

Links and News

Silver Medal Award
Mosby's Raiders Return was honored with the 2013 Silver Medal Award for Sports Fiction by
Gold Medal Award
Legacy of the Gray Ghost was honored with the Gold Medal Award as the Best Southern Fiction Book in 2011 by
Book Of The Year Award
Legacy of the Gray Ghost was honored with the 2011 Historical Fiction Book of the Year Award by