Author returning to Portsmouth for book signing

By Frank Lewis

September 4, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Portsmouth native, author Dick Burdette, who is best known for books about the Portsmouth and surrounding areas, will be in Portsmouth this week to sign two new books.

One of the books is “Does Anybody Know About This? - An uncautionary tale of doing what I had to do in order to do what I wanted to do.” It deals with his life as a news reporter and writer, a career he credits to former Portsmouth Daily Times columnist Pete Minego, who gave him a start in the newspaper industry - a job that included stops at places such as Orlando, Fla. and Lexington, Ky.

“It has to be about me since I was the only one there,” Burdette said. “It’s really a recount of my career and the stories I covered, and it includes more than 100 of the columns I wrote in the Orlando Sentinel and the Lexington Herald-Leader. It’s kind of a travelogue of every place I went. I dealt with mafia figures and organized crime, and people on death row. I covered the (Ted) Bundy trial. There’s a whole section on crime, but it’s mainly human interest stories about people when I was driving the back roads looking for human interest stories.”

In addition to being a former investigative reporter for the Orlando Sentinel and roving human interest columnist for the Sentinel and later the Lexington Herald-Leader, in 1975, he was nominated for Pulitzer Prize and three years later, for the Ernie Pyle Award, the nation’s top prize for human interest writing. He and his wife, Judy, live in Wellington, Colo.

The second book he will be signing this week is “The Grave on War Drum Creek,” a novel based on historical fact.

“They found the grave of an indian dressed in a cavalry uniform in 1932,” Burdette said. “And they figured it had been there for a long long time. That’s part of the story too.”

Burdette’s books about Portsmouth include “Pockets Full Awry: The Obrist Murder Case” and “Willa Ramey is Missing.”

Burdette will sign his new books Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Market Street Cafe, 212 Market Street in Portsmouth.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.