Meet Cindy and Randy Farley

Cindy Bee Farley is the daughter of the legendary Coach Clair Bee. She and her husband, Randy Farley have recently updated the Chip Hilton series, originally set in the 1940s and 50s. Cindy and Randy explained that the republication of the books came about through a promise made to Bee shortly before he passed away in 1983. In a conversation, Randy told his father-in-law that he and Cindy would get the books out again.

The curve came when Cindy and Randy were told the books would need to be updated. They had thought the books would be published exactly as written. When the only direction for updating was, ‘Take out anything that sounds real old-timey,’ Cindy and Randy had a bit of trouble at first. Many of the rules and strategies in the books had to be changed as some of what was originally written would be violations now. As for how they eventually went about the rewriting, Cindy says, “We would take a book each, and we'd read it by ourselves. Then we would come together, and we would say, "Ok, what made this book so special? What was dad's message, what does he want the reader to take away?" When we had those two things firmly in our mind, then we knew exactly what to do - it was like magic.” Another change was the addition of more subplots and female characters.

In the republication of the Chip Hilton books, there is the addition of a 24th volume that had never been published previously. Clair Bee had written it at the same time he wrote the other books, but decided to hold it back and brought it with him when he went to live with Cindy and Randy. As Cindy says, “Dad did not publish this book back in the '60's because he said the tenor of the country had changed so much. I think he felt it would not be appreciated at that time. I think he always held it back, kind of as a nugget, waiting for the right time. Of course, he died before that time came to fruition. But we really believe that the tenor of the country has turned back, and we have seen the negative fruits of not paying attention to integrity and character. I definitely feel it's time for that book to be back out.”

As far as plans for future books, Cindy and Randy are considering a series about Chip and his friends during their days before the series picks up that would be geared toward older elementary or middle school aged kids.

Information from an interview with Christianbook.com. Posted 08/03

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