Preston Woods Authors

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Tony "World Famous" Vickio

Tony Vickio, born and raised in Watkins Glen, N.Y., had a passion for sign painting from an early age. He is the owner and artist extraordinaire of the "World Famous" Vickio Signs in Watkins Glen. Tony never planned to be an author and Shifting Gears: Tales of Pistons, Paint Cans, and Personalities is his first book based on his adventures in the racing and painting worlds. Tony's sign work has been published in SignCraft magazine and he has worked with many high-profile clients from around the world in the racing community. In 2011, Tony was awarded the Schuyler County Chamber of Commerce Community Spirit Award for his leadership and excellence in philanthropy and humanitarianism efforts in creating and growing the Spirit of Schuyler, a local non-profit organization that he and his family began.

Gordon D. Cooper

Born in 1964 in New York City, Gordon D. Cooper moved with his family to Watkins Glen, N.Y., when he was 3 years old. After graduating from Watkins Glen High School in 1983, he attended Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. and then began a career in electrical engineering. He served for 20 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, including deployments to Bosnia and Kosovo as a public affairs officer, before retiring as a major in 2003. In 2002, he started Preston Woods Publishing Company to promote books of regional interest. Watkins Glen Tour Guide is the first book he has authored. He lives in Northern California with his wife and their three sons.

Barbara H. Bell

Mrs. Bell was born in Cortland, N.Y. and received most of her education in that county although she was graduated from Lowville Academy. She has been editor, and frequent contributor, to the Schuyler County Historical Society’s quarterly Journal which she helped establish in 1964. Her work has appeared, through the years, in a variety of publications. Her first published work was a poem, written at age 10 and used by a nationally distributed Sunday School paper. Mrs. Bell has, since, published three short volumes of poetry. Her bio has appeared in the Internatioal Who’s Who in Poetry, Foremost Women in Communications, Who’s Who of American Women. She has been recognized and honored by numerous groups including the Schuyler County Hall of Fame. In 1995, she was named outstanding historian of New York state by the Historians’ Association of New York.

Frank Steber

Born in 1921, Frank W. Steber grew up in Ilion, N.Y. He graduated from high school in 1939 and then joined the Army Air Forces. In World War II, from 1942 to 1945, he served in the South Pacific. After the service, he attended Syracuse University on the G.I. Bill, graduating in 1949. He taught English at Andes Central School in Andes, N.Y. before moving to Watkins Glen. For the next 29 years – 1955 to 1984 – he taught English at Watkins Glen High School. He also taught evening and summer classes at Elmira College from 1963 to 1983. Now retired, he lives in Watkins Glen with his wife, Arlene. Together, they raised two sons, Richard and Michael, and a daughter, Susan. In 1988, Steber started writing the Seneca Spectator column for The Watkins Review and Express. He is the author of The Blessed Company, a history of St. James Episcopal Church in Watkins Glen, and two collections of Seneca Spectator columns: Seneca Spectator Christmas, published in 1994 and Schuyler People, Schuyler Places, published in 2001.