St. Louis journey journalist pens new e book ‘Discovering the American Dream’
Travel writer Bill Clevlen came up with the idea of writing his latest book, Finding the American Dream, after visiting Johnny Cash’s children’s home in Dyess, Arkansas.
“Here’s a guy, Johnny Cash, who obviously rose to great fame, a big star, and he came from this tiny little town with nothing but dirt roads everywhere and a little little house. I started thinking, ‘Wow, here is a guy who really achieved something in The American Dream. “
So Bill started hiding all the places he had traveled to where 75 famous faces came from.
He researched entertainers, inventors and cultural icons who made the American dream come true.
“Each and every one of these people had something to overcome. Whether poverty or personal demons. You see a man like Fred Rogers. We all remember Mr. Rogers. He was a man who was bullied as a child. He was overweight. He didn’t have any Friends, he basically lived his childhood alone, “he said.
The story of Louis Armstrong is also inspiring. His adult home is shown here.
His childhood home in New Orleans was demolished in 1964.
He said, “He lived in a town that was so poor they called it the battlefield. It was so dangerous he couldn’t even walk out his front door and everyone around the world knows who Louis Armstrong is.”
Bill is a St. Louis-based travel writer who writes about many people with Missouri connections who made the American Dream come true.
He said, “I didn’t want to include as many Missouri people as I did, and I realized how many Missouri ties there are. Walt Disney, Mark Twain, JCPenney. There are probably 12-1-5 people with Missouri ties . “
Including Tina Turner, who moved to St. Louis when she was 16. But she grew up in Tennessee and would often sing on a stage in a single room schoolhouse before becoming the Queen of Rock and Roll.
He said, “You must be ready to try and you must be ready to fail. And that’s what a lot of people do wrong. Pretty much every person I’ve profiled has had to take risks and try things. “
Bill hopes his book will inspire young people to follow their dream.
He said, “The nice thing about this book is when someone reads it, especially young people, read it, see the stories and no matter what they’re going through, they can get over it and make something of their life and achieve the American Dream because all these other people have him. “