This is an interesting memoir of a self made millionaire who realized late in life that there were more important issues in life than accumulating wealth and being successful.
Wood was orphaned at six years old when his father died, his mother having deserted the family earlier. He was deposited in an orphanage and had to cane chairs. He ran away from the orphanage five years later. He joined hobos, finally finding farm work with a family of German immigrants. Working and studying, he graduated high school at age thirteen.
It was during the depression (1941) and Wood took every job he could find. He earned enough money to rescue his younger brother from the orphanage. He found out his mother was still alive and was able to reconnect with her. She had run off with the hired hand and later married into a gangster family.
Wood got drafted in 1942. His military career was troubled as he got busted back to private many times. He trained Clark Gable in judo and knife fighting, met Shirley Temple while training in California. He ended up working undercover intelligence in India and China. He had quite a few exciting experiences during the war.
After the war Wood got into real estate and then added insurance. He was very successful and became very wealthy. On the way he married and divorced five times.
While Wood was very successful in business, after he sold his business to his son, he realized something was missing in his life. He lamented the amount of time he spent accumulating money and wished he'd spent more time with his kids. He also realized his spiritual need and found God's forgiveness. He also found that faith in God was what really gave him meaning in life.
I would recommend this book to men who enjoy reading a rags to riches story. Woods was an aggressive business man, bent on success. Readers will find that there are more important concerns in life than accumulating money and success. Ultimately, it is one's relationship to God that gives life meaning.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
L. K. Wood was born in Carlton Station, New York. After his army experience, he built St. Louis' largest real estate business. He was active in civic and political concerns. He retired to Naples, Florida with his last wife and died in 2013.
Robert J. Scudieri served as a Lutheran pastor for 38 years. He served in various responsibilities for The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. He was friend and pastor to L. K. Wood.
Spirit of Naples and Southwest Florida, Inc., 352 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through SON Studios for the purpose of an independent and honest review.