Spicer writes biography

Published 12:29 am Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Selma’s best-known pasta artist, Vernon Spicer, has launched a new venture, but it’s not another art project.

Instead, it is the story of his life titled “God Gave Me Another Chance.” Spicer said the book — a joint venture between Spicer and his mother, Blondelia Morris — was written to show what can be accomplished through faith in God.

“When I was about 15 or 16 years old, I had a list of things I wanted to do if God would allow me,” said Spicer. “Every one of them I asked him for, he let me do. I wanted to be a soldier, I wanted to be in business, I wanted to speak another language, I wanted to travel around the world.”

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Spicer spent 20 years in the Army, held multiple jobs, knows enough German to get by and has visited 23 countries. Ironically, author did not make his original list.

“I’m a pasta artist, and I didn’t know I could write,” he said. “I never thought I’d be writing a book. God is in the plan whenever we do something.”

The title comes from Spicer’s battle with lung cancer in 1990.

“The doctor gave up on me and said he couldn’t do nothing else for me,” said Spicer. “When he put me back together, God really gave me another chance.”

Spicer’s mother said his overcoming cancer sparked the idea to create the book.

“All my life, he’s been good to me. When he got cancer, I thought he was going to die. He didn’t,” said Morris. “Then, we kept talking about putting a book together. We got together and put it together.”

But, God is not the book’s only focus. Spicer also tells his life story to illustrate what can be accomplished through hard work.

A native of Portsmouth, Va., he left high school during his junior year to enlist in the Army. He completed his GED, but did not earn a high school diploma or college degree until he graduated from Wallace Community College-Selma many years later.

“I want to inspire others to keep their head up. I’m a GED product. A lot of people think, ‘Well, GED is a second-rate education. I can’t do nothing.’ That’s not true,” said Spicer.

“I’m a GED man, and I did all that — I went to college, I went into business, I succeeded. I feel like they can do it, too. That may inspire some kids to take a GED.”

The books will be sold for $8 apiece. Spicer said he plans on talking with Barnes and Noble, Christian bookstores and other dealers in the near future. He said plans for a book signing at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library are also in the works.