by Valerie Riley-Wormsley
“Look what we have here – a strong little man.” Almost as though she can foresee the life ahead of her firstborn son, these are the words spoken by Tank’s mother as she marvels at her boisterous new child. The life ahead for Tank is one filled with love, success, and strong family bonds, as well as hardship, suffering, tragedy, and pain - but he endures all with the same solid, tough nature that his family recognized when bestowing his nickname.
Learning to deal with racism as a black child in the 1940s South is only the beginning of the struggles that will face young Tank. But his family’s move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania brings new opportunities to him, not to mention his core group of friends and his future wife. But it also awakens the addiction that will plague him for so many years, cause him to squander his talent and more than a few important moments, and lead to a terrible injury that threatens his existence as he’s known it. But his wife Ree Ann sticks with him throughout it all and raises their ever-growing family with the same persevering attitude exhibited by Tank, no matter what comes their way.
These dramatic, poignant tales of Tank’s journey in life are the heart of Tank the Ripper. Sometimes wild, sometimes poignant, this is a biographical portrait of one man’s vivid personality and the many lives that have joined him along the way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Valerie E. Riley-Wormsley is a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where much of her family biography takes place. She and her husband Kenneth, share two children, Janina and Phoenix. With a career as a restorative aide, she also enjoys reading about celebrities, watching game shows, soap operas, and Oprah, as well as spending time with her family.
(2007, paperback, 52 pages)