Author Richard R. Simmons has exposed his life through his easy to read but emotional autobiography, “A Long Hard Ride.” This book examines the transformation of a horse jockey turned Air Force career man, turned postal manager and drunk, into a man in search of himself and the meaning of life. It is all about redemption and spiritual rebirth.
The story takes you from Richard's early childhood when his father’s death changes the direction of his life and sets him off on a collision course with self-destructive behaviors including his life long battle with alcoholism.
His time spent at the race track and not in school makes for very unique experiences to read about. He raced against some of the best jockey and horses of his day but never found the kind of satisfaction or success that he needed. His quest for understanding and love follow him throughout the pages of his book from one life adventure to the next seeking to find that inner peace that eludes him for so long.
This is an exceptionally well told story and makes for some interesting, yet at times emotional, reading. This book will force you to look and reflect on your own life experiences. In the end, this book will be an enjoyable adventure but keep a box of Kleenex handy.
Reviewed by: Bill McDonald (2005)
This is an inspirational story that shows how the author overcame poverty, the lack of education, low self-esteem and alcoholism. These stories come from the life experiences of a man fighting the demons within as he rode the racetracks of America in search of his soul. The book follows his life as he gives up his career as a jockey and joins the U.S. Air Force, eventually taking up a third career in management at the USPS. Hope and inspirations come from many unexpected places as the miracle of recovery and rediscovery of love - for himself and life - change him in ways he never thought possible. He knows that he was fortunate to survive