‘Sterling Bridge’ is an inspiring true-life story
Iread the short novel “Sterling Bridge” by Chad Robert Parker in two evenings. It had been sitting in my books-to-read pile under a couple of historical fiction books I received as Christmas gifts. But they were really long, so “Sterling Bridge” made the top of the pile – and I’m glad it did.
The setting is Tooele, Utah, as the Great Depression approaches. The story revolves around football, high school, small-town Utah prejudice in the late 1920s, and a real-life hero by the name of Sterling Harris. It’s his biography with some fictional details thrown in to make a readable story.
Readers meet Coach Harris as he arrives on the first day of school. Because we read the back of the book, we know that “Tooele, Utah, is a town divided. Tensions are already running high with the Depression making money tight and jobs scarce. But then Sterling Harris comes to town, a new coach with a daring plan to turn things around and to find victory for his football team and unity for Tooele.”
I also knew he would win the 1929 Utah state football championship because I always look at the photos at the end of a book.
If you read the book knowing it’s a film novel, a story he already wrote a film script for, it helps. You can hear a director in the background of some of the scenes in the book yelling, “Fade out on 14-yearold narrator Joe Lacy and bring Sterling Harris into the spotlight.”
This is the first published novel for Utah author Chad Robert Parker. He describes his 15-year writing journey on his blog at chadrobertparker.com and explains why this is a film novel of 126 pages. “One of the first things I realized about writing was that there was no way I could write a good idea down fast enough. While my mind thinks in longer formats, my attention span is about as long as the length of a movie,” he said.
Parker said during our interview that there are film producers looking at his screenplay.
“Sterling Bridge began with an inspirational person, inspired an inspirational book, and is already of interest to a few movie producers who expect it could inspire many more through film. Through my writing, I hope to introduce characters such as Sterling Harris, with his old school values and tenacious ways, to a whole new generation,” he said.
“Sterling Bridge” is available online at Amazon.com, Books&Things.com and Barnes&Noble.com. You can also purchase a copy at Cedar Fort Publishing in Springville.