Where are they now?: Winter fondly recalls stories, events in book
During his four decades as a sports writer in North Dakota, Abe Winter was well known for spinning a good story. Now retired and living in Coral Gables, Fla., the 62-year-old Winter took the advice of his wife and collected all his stories and me...
During his four decades as a sports writer in North Dakota, Abe Winter was well known for spinning a good story.
Now retired and living in Coral Gables, Fla., the 62-year-old Winter took the advice of his wife and collected all his stories and memories into a book. It's titled "Memoirs of an Unknown Sportswriter: Except in North Dakota."
The first 500 books sold in five days. Winter is now on a North Dakota book-signing tour, hoping to sell the 2,000 books that were recently printed.
"My wife had heard me tell these stories so she asked me 'Why don't you put this all in a book?'" Winter said. "Seriously, my wife basically told me, 'Get your big butt off the couch and start writing.'"
Winter started in May of 2010 and completed a 258-page book that features a potpourri of his sports writing career in North Dakota.
Winter was a sports writer at the Grand Forks Herald from 1971 to 1979, where he fondly remembers the eight-overtime high school boys hockey state championship game which ended up in a 1-1 tie between Grand Forks Red River and Grand Forks Central.
"They held the presses for us to get that story into the paper," Winter said. "I stayed on the phone between every overtime, dictating a new paragraph each time."
From 1979 to 1997, Winter was the sports editor at the Bismarck Tribune, where he fondly remembers a one-time survey polling people on who was the best all-time basketball player to come out of North Dakota. Williston's Phil Jackson, now head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, was the winner.
"We sent out 150 ballots to coaches, fans and players and 100 ballots were returned," Winter said. "It generated a lot of interest."
Winter's book is filled with humorous and serious stories ranging from two University of North Dakota hockey championships to Linton winning back-to-back boys basketball championships in 1984 and 1985 to covering the 1987 and 1991 Minnesota Twins' World Series championships to Dickinson Trinity winning a Class A football title in 1979.
"Nowadays, who would even remember that Trinity was once Class A?" said Winter, who
re-interviewed numerous sources 30 to 40 years after the event. "It's been the most humbling part of my journalism career. You're sitting at a table wondering if anyone is going to buy your book, and then, all of a sudden, 10 people are in line.
"I must have touched some people. I guess I'm not so surprised people want to read about it. The humbling part is meeting all the people who are part of the book."