on April 30, 2015
Review of From Gazoonie to Greatness by Paula Blackwelder
I was so excited to receive this book as I had read another book by Tony Steele "The ABC's of flying trapeze" and knew that this book would be great as well.
The book is written as a part biography, part self-help section after each story, in each chapter.
So far I have only read the book, not actually used the questions in the end of the chapters, but i will as I am very curious as to what I will learn.
Let me tell you this, whether you are a flying trapeze or any other sport kind of a guy, you will love the humor in this book, the personality of the great Tony Steele really shines through, and as someone who has met him, I know he is unforgettable and bigger than life, a funny guy. Apart from all that, he has gone through a lot on his path of life and the book tells the story of a man who could have been anyone, that through determination and passion, and with the guidance of love and God, followed his dreams and became one of the greatest flyers in the world. Today at the ample age of 78, he is inspiring the younger fledglings on their dreams of flying and fulfilling their goals.
Read this book if you love flying trapeze or if you love inspirational stories, this book should be enjoyed but also used (end of chapters) for personal growth and insight.
Loved this book.
on April 23, 2015
This book is a fantastically written story about an even more fantastic hero of mine. Tony Steele is the epitome of of believing in yourself and achieving what others feel to be impossible. A must read for any acrobat, athlete, circus fan or anyone who could use a little direction in the "believe in your self" department. I read this book and enjoyed every moment, page by page. Highly recommend!
on April 23, 2015
A "Survivor"...that is Tony Steele. His life is an inspiration to all who read this book. "Good things happen all the time"..Tony says. I am glad that I see life now through the eyes of Tony. I have read this book three times now and will read it again. It is a book of encouragement..it is almost like Tony is there with you telling his story..a great story! Thanks Tony and Ms. Blackwelder..I love the book!
on April 15, 2015
This is an inspirational journey of determination, experiencing triumph over tragedy, with dispair along the way. Tony's sharing of his life's journey proves to be a motivational tool for others in always focusing on your dream and being persistent in achieving that goal set for yourself. As for his life's tragedies and disappointments that he reveals to the reader, it just goes to prove that when God closes a door, He always opens a window. Obvious in this story. A good quick and helpful read.
on April 14, 2015
Concise, informative and enjoyable reading about the life of a most fascinating individual. The unknown qualities of Tony Steele have finally been put to print for the uninformed to read. He is beyond the world's best, male flyer. He is humble, unselfish and giving. These are but a few of the many traits that he has that has made him a great teacher and inspiration to generations that followed. I love the compelling information in this book. It is raw, and the questions at the end of every chapter make you think. The pictures are really fascinating, too. A MUST READ.
on April 9, 2015
There were very few "great" trapeze performers of the 20th century - Alfredo Codona, Tito Gaona, Miguel Vazquez and Tony Steele - interesting and remarkable men, all. This book takes us through triumphs and tragedies of one of these great circus performers - Tony Steele - back in the day when trapeze was the "King" of all circus acts. Steele - as all the "greats" did - dared to attempt that which few dared - in his case, the 3 1/2 somersault to a catcher. His world record feat was unsurpassed for decades. In this inspirational and compelling book - the reader follows along with Tony as he deals with both the triumphs and tragedies in his own three ring circus of life - on and off the trapeze. Along the way, Tony offers reflections on his life and the lessons he has learned. Great book for both circus fans and general readers.
on April 1, 2015
I received this wonderfully inspiring book for Christmas. It was one of the only things I specifically asked for. Tony Steele is a kind, funny and fascinating human being and it comes across in the pages of the book. From Gazoonie to Greatness details his incredible story of a kid with a dream and the courage to chase after it. As we hit bumps in the road, it's easy to give up. Tony never did and it inspires me to continue moving onward towards my goals when forging ahead feels impossible. I really enjoy the opportunities to reflect after each chapter. They are really helping me think about my hopes and dreams and about the life I want to live. Pick up this book of Tony's amazing story and let it help you create yours!
on March 17, 2015
Loved the book. Reading it, you not only discover the background of this "living legend", but it also challenges you to look deep into your inner-self, through the trials of what Steele endured. The story also makes you want to become a "big brother" of that daring young man. The book shows that show business "ain't all glory."
on February 17, 2015
Tony Steele’s story is about being a trapeze flyer, which on the surface is true. Behind the scenes, this story is about someone who beat all the odds on the journey of life and is still embracing every day with joy and energy. As a retired teacher, I read this book and thought of the many times I could have used it as a reference when counseling, encouraging and helping young people make responsible decisions. I urge anyone who is a motivational speaker, teacher, mentor, caretaker and even parent to share this story with others. The reflections and questions at the end of each chapter are so important in navigating the barrage of choices and possibilities that face all of us everyday. Tony never once gave up. His story has given me a new perspective as I meet my own challenges. It is a story that will make you smile every morning! Defeat can never be a possibility.
on February 3, 2015
If you are one of Tony Steele's friends and or admirers and there are thousands of you out there, you will find this small volume truly engaging. Tony's voice is so clear that you will feel he is by your side, talking just to you.
on January 14, 2015
Tony Steele is the male Scheherazade! He’s got a million stories- each more touching, funny, or picaresque than the last. Some I had heard- some were new. Each one made me smile. This book just skimmed the surface of a life fully lived. I hope we’ll learn more about this incredible legend in a future book.
on October 6, 2015
Just ordered my 2nd copy. Love this book. The steps/goals, inspiration you get is life changing. The stories, excitement, hope we
derive from this motivational book help me day to day in business and personally. Thanks Author Paula S Blackwelder, and
Tony Steele for your contributions to the circus world, and bettering my life. Cheers
on January 12, 2015
Tony Steele is perfection in the air, and his story is nothing short of amazing. Read this book!
on January 7, 2015
We all know life is hard, but sometimes you really don't know how hard or difficult and certainly how miraculous life is or can be. This book is not just about the circus, or the trapeze. It's about the price you must pay for living the life you were meant to live- aka "your dream". Readers are inspired to stay the course through seemingly insurmountable obstacles (both physical and emotional) to realize their dreams. This story is open and honest and provides lots of supporting documentation and archival references. A few sections are written with "gloves off" because that is exactly how it happened. The truth is out there for all to see and hopefully, apply to their own life no matter what they are facing. I would recommend reading this for its inspirational value, its historical value and of course its entertaining value because as they say- "the show must go on".
on January 5, 2015
This book is absolutely amazing. It is nice to read such a powerful and drastic story that is true. What an amazing journey. If you want motivation, adventure, emotion, and truth, READ THIS BOOK!!
on September 8, 2015
I thought the book was great. Nice, easy read which gave insight into a truly legendary character in Tony Steele.
I've had the opportunity to meet Tony in person many times over the previous years, and I think this book is the next best thing to hearing some of his incredible stories in person. Tony and Paula do an incredible job of capturing the essence of what it takes to be a legendary character within the circus community.