A journey home

Published 7:59 pm Sunday, September 21, 2008

By By MaryClaire Foster
Former Atmore resident Buddy Tippen was at First National Bank &Trust Thursday to promote his book, “The Journey Home,” which chronicles his life on a sailboat, including riding out Hurricane Katrina.
Tippen is the fourth author to have a signing at the bank.
Rene’ Godwin, vice president of First National Bank &Trust, said the bank does not have any more signings planned, but would like to have more.
Several relatives of Tippen who are still in town came to the signing. Charlotte Stanton’s grandmother was cousins with Tippen and after reading about it in the paper decided to come.
Being an Army brat, Tippen had plenty of experience moving to new places, but after Hurricane Ivan destroyed his home in Pensacola Beach and Hurricane Dennis did it again two weeks before he was to move back in, he found himself, along with his wife, Linda, moving onto their sailboat, the Windward Spirit.
For the next seven months they lived anchored off of the beach.
At the time Katrina was developing, Tippen said they thought Katrina would hit farther up the road and decided to stay put.
Tippen said the book started with group e-mails onboard the Windward Spirit.
His book was self-published and his wife, a grammarian, was his editor.
Tippen has since moved off the boat and he and his wife plan to leave in mid-December for a six-moth sailing excursion to Trinidad. The trip was planned before Ivan hit, and they have just now been able to reschedule.
While restoring his boat, Tippen nurtured a love for woodwork and continued that as he began making wooden jewelry on the Windward Spirit after Katrina hit. He expanded his work to furniture when most of his was destroyed along with his house and said he thought, “Heck I can make it.” Tippen has continued making furniture and sells it off of his Web site www.mysticsaltwoodworks. com.
Tippen also has an upcoming signing in Bay Minette. Call or e-mail Claudette Nix for more information at 937-7146 claudettenix@bellsouth.net

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