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Father Ken Vavrina Signing ‘Crossing Bridges’ on Saturday, May 21 at The Bookworm


Father Ken Vavrina Signing ‘Crossing Bridges’ on Saturday, May 21 at The Bookworm

 

Father Ken Vavrina will sign copies of the book I did with him, Crossing Bridges: A Priest’s Uplifing Life Among the Downtrodden, on Saturday, May 21 from 1 to 4 pm at The Bookworm, 2501 South 90th Street. Father Ken will be among several authors signing their work at this Concierge Marketing Open House event.

 

“The very first bridge I crossed was choosing to study for the priesthood, a decision that took me and everyone who knew me by surprise. Then came a series of bridges that once crossed brought me into contact with diverse peoples and their incredibly different yet similar needs.”

Father Vavrina has served as a priest for many years, and has served several missions trips to help the needy. Father Ken worked with lepers in Yemen, and was ultimately arrested and thrown in jail under false suspicions of spying. After being forcibly removed from Yemen, he began his tenure with Catholic Relief Services. First in the extreme poverty and over-population of Calcutta in India. Then with warlords in Liberia to deliver food and supplies to refugees in need. Father Ken also spent several years working with Mother Teresa to heal the sick and comfort the dying.

Crossing Bridges: A Priest’s Uplifting Life Among the Downtrodden is the story of Father Ken Vavrina’s life and travels – simple acts that moved him, people that inspired him, and places that astonished him. Father Ken has spent his life selflessly serving the Lord and the neediest around him, while always striving to remain a simple, humble man of God.

“I pray this account of my life is not a personal spectacle but a recounting of a most wonderful journey serving God. May its discoveries and experiences inspire your own life story of service.”

About the Author
Father Ken Vavrina:

Father Kenneth Vavrina is a Roman Catholic priest, currently living and serving in Omaha, Nebraska. Vavrina was born in Bruno and raised in Clarkson, Nebraska. He was ordained in 1962. In the United States, he ministered to Native Americans, African-Americans, and Hispanics during the height of the civil rights movement.

Through his work with Catholic Relief Services and Mother Teresa, he has served people in five countries on four continents. He served nineteen years of missionary work overseas. He comforted lepers in the Arab nation of Yemen, oversaw relief efforts for victims of an earthquake in southern Italy, and supervised aid to and regenerated the agricultural sector for the poorest of the poor in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. He also secured food and medicine for war refugees in the African nation of Liberia.

At 80 years of age, he officiates mass daily for the residents of his retirement center.

Book written with assistance from Leo Adam Biga:

Leo Adam Biga is an Omaha author and journalist. His previous books include Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film and Memories of the Jewish Midwest: Mom and Pop Grocery Stores. His award-winning cultural journalism appears in many publications. Assignments take him across America and overseas. He has traveled to California to cover Oscar-winning filmmaker Alexander Payne. He covered the 2009 Barack Obama presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. He made a baseball tour of the Midwest. He recently went to Uganda and Rwanda, Africa as the Andy Award winner for international journalism from his alma mater, the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

He has a new nonfiction history book in the works. His Nebraska Film Heritage Project is in development.

AMAZON CUSTOMER RATINGS

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, May 19, 2016
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Crossing Bridges: A Priest’s Uplifting Life Among the Downtrodden (Paperback)
Great book!
5.0 out of 5 starsI come from the same town as Father Ken and …, February 4, 2016
Verified Purchase
This review is from: Crossing Bridges: A Priest’s Uplifting Life Among the Downtrodden (Paperback)
I come from the same town as Father Ken and knew his family, so I may be biased. But I do know that the book reflects his values. He is definitely real and is an inspiration to the rest of us.
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, September 1, 2015
This review is from: Crossing Bridges: A Priest’s Uplifting Life Among the Downtrodden (Paperback)
such an amazing life story

 

 

New edition of ‘Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film’ releases September 1 from River Junction Press


It is my pleasure to introduce you to my work as an Omaha-based author-journalist-blogger. If you are already familiar with my writing, then please allow me to re-introduce myself in advance of a major new release that I am thrilled to announce.

I have authored several self-published books but perhaps my best known ones to date are Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film and Crossing Bridges: A Priest’s Uplifting Life Among the Downtrodden. I am using this post to announce that a new edition of Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film releases September 1 from River Junction Press in Omaha. The book, originally published in 2012 through Concierge Marketing Publishing Services and My Inside Stories LLC, features the addition of significant new content related to Payne’s Nebraska and Downsizing films, as well as new photos, a Discussion Guide and Index and many updates. It is a must read for any fan of this filmmaker’s work, for film buffs, for film studies instructors and teachers and for filmmakers. Its author has been called the world’s leading expert on Payne. Indeed, I have covered him and his work for 20 years and the book is a compendium of many exclusive interviews and behind the scenes observations.

Soon taking advanced orders.

 

You can sample my work on my blog– https://leoadambiga.com/

Facebook page– https://www.facebook.com/LeoAdamBiga/#

Amazon author’s page– http://www.amazon.com/Leo-Adam-Biga/e/B00E6HE46E

GoodReads page– https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5398063.Leo_Adam_Biga

And across a full spectrum of other social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, Tumbler and About.Me.

 

Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film

 

River Junction Press LLC

Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film

Second Edition Leo Adam Biga Film/Biography Trade Paper $24.95

(320 pages 6 x 9 28 B/W photos ISBN: 978099726670228 September, 2016

IPG distributor: http://www.ipgbook.com

 

Journalist Leo Adam Biga chronicles twenty years of Alexander Payne’s filmmaking in a group of essays and published articles.

 

Praise for Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film

The Filmmaker —

“I have long admired Leo Biga’s journalism and prose portraiture for its honesty, thoughtful- ness, and accuracy. On a personal note, throughout many years of being interviewed, I find Mr. Biga’s articles about me to be the most complete and perceptive of any journalist’s anywhere. They ring true to me — even in critique — in a way that reveals the depth of his talent in obser- vation, understanding, and expression.” Alexander Payne

The Film Critic —

“Alexander Payne is one of America’s cinema’s leading lights. How fortunate we are that Leo Biga has chronicled his rise to success so thoroughly.” Leonard Maltin

The Film Student —

“You don’t know me but I am a young filmaker in NYC . . . Your articles and interviews became a critical (and previously absent) entry point to discover and dig deeper into learning more about directors, films, and film history. I came to not only respect and admire Payne as a filmmaker, but also as one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. And I can say that to date, starting with your book, what I’ve learned about the craft and history of cinema has been unparalleled and invaluable.” Brian Reisberg

 

Making American Movies about Americans

Downsizing (2017) starring Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Neil Patrick Harris, Alec Baldwin, Jason Sudeikis, Christoph Waltz

Nebraska (2013) starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Stacey Keach, Bob Odenkirk The Descendants (2011) starring George Clooney, Robert Forster, Beau Bridges, Shailene

Woodley (Oscar and Golden Globes winner) Sideways (2004) starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Hayden Church, Sandra Oh, Virginia

Madsen (Oscar and Golden Globes winner) About Schmidt (2002) starring Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney Election (1999) starring Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein Citizen Ruth (1996) starring Laura Dern, Swoozie Kurtz, Mary Kay Place, Kelly Preston

Leo Adam Biga is available for interviews and speaking engagements. http://www.leoadambiga.com http://www.facebook.com/LeoAdamBiga leo32158@cox.net

Kira Gale, publisher

402-451-2878 phone 402 680-3884 cell

3314 North 49th St http://www.riverjunctionpress.com May 9, 2016 Omaha NE 68104 kiragale RJP@aol.com

Bob Boozer, basketball immortal, posthumously inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame

May 20, 2016 1 comment

Former K-State forward Bob Boozer (left) was recognized as part of the Wildcats’ all-century team in 2003 and will now enter the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame this fall in Kansas City.

 

Bob Boozer, basketball immortal, posthumously inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame

 

I posted this four years ago about Bob Boozer, the best basketball player to ever come out of the state of Nebraska, on the occasion of his death at age 75. Because his playing career happened when college and pro hoops did not have anything like the media presence it has today and because he was overshadowed by some of his contemporaries, he never really got the full credit he deserved. After a stellar career at Omaha Tech High, he was a brilliant three year starter at powerhouse Kansas State, where he was a two-time consensus first-team All-American and still considered one of the four or five best players to ever hit the court for the Wildcats. He averaged a double-double in his 77-game career with 21.9 points and 10.7 rebounds. He played on the first Dream Team, the 1960 U.S. Olympic team that won gold in Rome. He enjoyed a solid NBA journeyman career that twice saw him average a double-double in scoring and rebounding for a season. In two other seasons he averaged more than 20 points a game. In his final season he was the 6th man for the Milwaukee Bucks only NBA title team. He received lots of recognition for his feats during his life and he was a member of multiple halls of fame but the most glaring omisson was his inexplicable exclusion from the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Well, that neglect is finally being remedied this year when he will be posthumously inducted in November. It is hard to believe that someone who put up the numbers he did on very good KSU teams that won 62 games over three seasons and ended one of those regular seasons ranked No. 1, could have gone this long without inclusion in that hall. But Boozer somehow got lost in the shuffle even though he was clearly one of the greatest collegiate players of all time. Players joining him in this induction class are Mark Aguirre of DePaul, Doug Collins of Illinois State, Lionel Simmons of La Salle, Jamaal Wilkes of UCLA and Dominique Wilkins of Georgia. Good company. For him and them. Too bad Bob didn’t live to see this. If things had worked out they way they should have, he would been inducted years ago and gotten to partake in the ceremony.

I originally wrote this profile of Boozer for my Omaha Black Sports Legends Series: Out to Win: The Roots of Greatness. You can access that entire collection at this link–

https://leoadambiga.com/out-to-win-the-roots-of-greatness-…/

I also did one of the last interviws Boozer ever gave when he unexpectedly arrived back stage at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha to visit his good buddy, Bill Cosby, with whom I was in the process of wrapping up an interview. When Boozer came into the dressing room, the photographer and I stayed and we got more of a story than we ever counted on. Here is a link to that piece–

https://leoadambiga.com/2012/05/11/bill-cosby-on-his-own-terms/

 

 

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