Harold Phifer talks with me about his memoir - Surviving Chaos: How I Found Peace at a Beach Bar. This is episode 423 of the audio podcast Teaching Learning Leading K12.
Harold Phifer was living a life that he was hiding from everyone—including himself. Then he met a woman at a bar in Thailand who cracked that secret open. Finally listened to, and guided by the stranger’s on-target, thoughtful questions, Harold spoke for the first time of his near-death experience in Afghanistan while flashing back to his dysfunctional past.
His inspiring memoir, Surviving Chaos: How I Found Peace At A Beach Bar. does not shy away from the stark details of childhood bullying, family tension, being raised in poverty in 1960s Mississippi, a mother with schizophrenia, and feeling like an outsider even at home.
Having spent the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan as a contractor (air-controller), he survived a suicide bombing by the Taliban but feels more at peace amidst the war zone than he did during his shattered childhood.
Harold Phifer started his literary career with a single book, SLEEPWALKING OUT OF AFGHANISTAN, in 2018. He followed that with an updated, largely expanded memoir, SURVIVING CHAOS: How I Found Peace at a Beach Bar, and he has an upcoming book FOOL ME THRICE, under the pen name - Dean Conan.
Harold was born and raised by a single mom in Columbus, Mississippi. He attended Caldwell High School before graduating from Mississippi State and Jackson State Universities respectively. He built his career as an Air Traffic Controller with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for 23 years. After deciding to leave the FAA he started a second career as an International Contractor.
As a contractor he had numerous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Today we are talking about his memoir - Surviving Chaos: How I Found Peace at a Beach Bar.
Thanks for listening!
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