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Comments by Jim Willcox on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 03:11 IP Logged
I was going to write something attemptedly eloquent but when I read all the other notes it's all pretty much been said. I just finished the book and my heart is in my throat. Also finding out the physical obstacles you are faced with and still able to pour incredible passion and feeling into your work is heroism of the highest order. I've been to the track at Pasadena many times and never knew the statues you described even existed. I'll sure look them up next time. My whole family will enjoy your book. My only concern is the making of the movie. I loved Bonfire of the Vanities and spoke to Tom Wolfe as it was being filmed. He told me he had no role and was very concerned about the outcome. The rest is history. God bless you, Jim
Kansas City , Mo USA

Comments by Edward Allen on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 03:06 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, I read an article about you in USA Today regarding CFS.. Well, I am a CFS sufferer as well, have been for the last 3 years. Since being under the care of an Alternative Doctor, I now travel for business 2-3 weeks per month, can function somewhat like a normal person, do some light exercise. Still can't play sports like I used to or do too much at one time...hmm "pacing myself".... I would love to tell you the path to my success, what has worked for me, would certainly help you I'm sure.... I am living proof that it's working!! 3 years ago, I was burning the candle at both ends, got a bacterial infection and my body totally shut down and out of work for a year and a I can fully understand what you have and are still going through..I want to help. You can reach me at my email. My website has a relaxation album I wrote and recorded and have used many times to relieve stress...a major factor in a recovery plan. Hope to hear from you soon. My best to you.
Lawrenceville, NJ USA

Comments by Jennifer Discher on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 02:29 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I cannot tell you how excited I was when I saw yur book on the shelf of my local bookseller. Tears filled my eyes as I caught a glimpse of my favorite equine hero, the one whose story I will never forget: Seabiscuit! Thank you, thank you for writing his story for the new century.
Baltimore,, MD USA

Comments by JW on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 02:29 IP Logged
Laura : I would like very much to talk to you about your article in USA Today about your CFS. I am a Talk Show Host ( 2 Hours Mon - Fri. ) I have had CF for 8yrs. A sick like feeling. I have been to alot of doctors - I have found one that has reaaly helped me. Please email me Congralations on your wonderful book. Jeff

Comments by Jock Reese on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 01:56 IP Logged
In a note in yesterday's (7/23)Guestbook, Laura, you thank all of us for keeping Seabiscuit: An American Legend on the Best Seller lists for 20 weeks now. It is we who collectively must thank you for having written this masterpiece which deserves to be on the list beyond the time they hopefully award it a much deserved Pulitzer Prize. What a wonderful thrill it must be for you to read this Guestbook every day and see what a positive influence your book has had on us. I recomend it to every reader I know. Thank you so much.
Holiday, Fl USA

Comments by Lynette Doele on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 00:48 IP Logged
This wonderful book was the selection of the month for the book club I am a member of. I have loved horses all my life, but never followed horse racing, and had never heard of Seabiscuit. I wasn't sure I would find the book enjoyable...was that a misconception! I love this book and will cherish it as a good friend forever. I truly became so engrossed that I was late back to work over a couple of lunch hours, because I just hated to stop reading. The descriptions of the races had me on the edge of my seat, heart pounding and palms sweating. What a great story. Our discussion of the book is in 2 days...I'm anticipating some enthusiastic responses! Our potlucks are always determined by the settings of the books. This one is going to be a Race Day Buffet. Should be lots of fun! Congratulations on a masterpiece. Lynette
Shelbyville, Mi USA

Comments by Rae Ciardi on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 00:37 IP Logged
I read about your book and your physical suffering as you wrote the book. My heart goes out to you and I am greatful for the opportunity to read the book you have written. This is a wonderful website ~ well done! I will add my prayers to hoping and praying that you will get well soon. I have recently learned about hormones and something called Natural Progesterone. There is a website where you can have your hormone levels tested thru saliva (including thyroid which I'm sure you've had tested already). My doctor told me I had nothing wrong with me, except that she doesn't know that my TSH number on the thyroid test has double in 4 yrs and that I was already tested for seritonin levels and they were low. My tests came within the normal ranges, but I still did not feel normal or good at all. I could barely get out of bed some days. Here is the website for hormone level testing. If the hormones are out of balance that will cause everything else to go out of balance. The hormones can affect the whole body clock and system including sleep, healing, strength..etc. I have found that the doctors of mainstream medicine ~ do not know much about this, though it has been used by a doctor in England for some 20 yrs. I was suffering from Chronic Fatigue... I suffered for 7 yrs. I am only just starting to use the natural progesterone... but it has healed most of my symptoms and issues. This website also put me in touch with doctors in my state of CT in New England who can help me. My insurance covers 2 out of 4 who are the only doctors in the area that I know treat with natural progesterone. The one doctor was trained in Ireland, maybe that is why she knows about the treatment and usees it. I am feeling much better though I've only ben on the treatment for a week and it will take some time to balance the hormone levels out. If this does not help you, I continue to pray that you will find out what is the cause of your illness that you may find health and wellness again. Sincerely, rae ciardi
Monroe, CT USA

Comments by Bob Rush on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 09:21 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand - I am in the process of reading your book. Absolutely captivating - I felt I must write as I was very impressed by your continued determination to battle CFS. My wife is in much of a similiar situation. CFS put her flat on her back for at least two years and we are still feelings the effects. We operate a small boarding, training and breeding business primarily focusing on event horses in Middleburg, VA. I was wtiness first hand to what CFS does. My heart goes out to all who suffer this terrribly misunderstood dis-ease. I am hoping my wife will contact you be e-mail directly and share more of her story with you. I am thoroughly enjoying your book and am fulfilling my jockey fantasy through good reads like yours. I hope Seabiscuit is one of many successes. Prayers go with you. Thank you for your masterwork. Bob
Middleburg, VA USA

Comments by Janelle Manno on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 08:48 IP Logged
June 20, 2001 Dear Laura Hillenbrand, Two days ago I finished reading your book, Seabiscuit. I have never written a letter to an author before. I have also never been interested in horseracing before. Your book changed all that for me. After hearing you read from the book on National Public Radio (NPR) here in Chicago, I had to purchase it. My husband was worried that after paying so much for a hardcover book, I would never read it. Every night I read a few pages before going to bed. I became so captivated by the book, that reading it was what I looked forward to doing the moment I arrived home. (My husband was probably feeling a little neglected by now.) What I enjoyed most about your book was having the feeling that I was there. You managed to thoroughly capture the feeling of the Seabiscuit obsession in your book. Each character (human or horse) seemed so real to me that I could envision them and their mannerisms as I read. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Seabiscuit was described by you, Woolf, Smith, and Pollard as wanting to race and win with all his heart. The manner in which you described every detail-how Seabiscuit would torture his fellow racehorses by letting them come from behind only to wipe their noses in his victory, and the story of how Seabiscuit was first able to relax by sleeping in the same stall as Pumpkin, and how he would sleep through the cross-country train rides-made the story of Seabiscuit that much more enjoyable.. Your description of the races was perfect. I know very little about horseracing, yet I still felt like I was present in each race, cheering on Seabiscuit and riding as George Woolf or Red Pollard. I could feel my face in Seabiscuit’s mane, his galloping speed beneath me, and the other horses nearing, trying to close in his lead. In reading your book I not only learned the tortures of being a jockey and how to train a racehorse, I learned to love Seabiscuit. I loved the fact that he wasn’t physically built like a racehorse, yet was the best racehorse of that era. I became a fan and can now defend him in conversations regarding his ability. Howard, Smith, and Pollard cared for Seabiscuit enough not to let him race under poor health or track conditions; you, obviously, love Seabiscuit enough to want to share his life story in such compelling detail with the world. Thank you for writing this incredible book. It was an absolute pleasure for me to read Seabiscuit! Sincerely, Janelle Manno
Chicago, IL USA

Comments by Margaret Menotti on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 08:04 IP Logged
A fabulous story told in way that will visually transport a reader back in time. A great character study of people who lived in an era that needed hope for something better and found it in a horse named "Seabiscuit." A riviting story. Thank you for writing it.
Denton, Tx USA

Comments by justcurious on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 07:12 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: My grandparents were at the race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. As the family story goes, my grandfather took her to this race with seats very close to the owners as a thank you for her patience with his love for racing. I have opened the film and can see that it is a race between two horses, but have not completely reviewed the film for fear of damaging it. Toward the end, where I did review it, I can see the sideview of two horses completing the race. It also shows the horses being lead back. One horse appears to have a white blanket and the other red. I have been saving this film in hopes of having it restored since it is the only film of my grandparents we have. Do you believe that this film is worth marketing? If so, could you direct me to the best place to investigate? Thank you.

Comments by Egon and Sheryl Doernbrack on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 06:41 IP Logged
Dear Laura: We are not writing to you about the book but rather about today's USA article on you with regard to CFS. We would like to offer a couple of references for you to review on health and possibly some answers to your problem. I would hope that you might consider reviewing them to see if they may help. These references will be a cut and paste from a Word document so I hope it is readable. As background, this comes mainly from my wife who is a healer who specialize in chronic pain but also does a lot of alternative healing techniques. She is a licensed PT,MT, and Reiki Master among other things. We would hope that this material might lead you to the path of healing yourself! References: 1) Reverse Aging by Sang Wang. You can get this on This is an easy book to read on aging and other healing concepts. Real good book! Publisher: JSB Publishing ISBN: 0-9662363-1-9 Phone: 1-888-261-0870 2) Sanctuary - Path to Consciousness by Stephen Lewis & Evan Slawson ISBN: 1-56170-844-5 Recommended by: Dr. Wayne Dwyer Linda Gray Burt Bacharach Lani Hall [wife of Herb Alpert with cancer herself] 3) Water Filters: Check out Alkaline Water Filters!!!! Acid water from soft drinks and our foods is killing us and prompting diseases such as cancer. Best Filter is the Ionizer Plus by Singer. Does Micro Filtration + Ultraviolet + Ionization to provide Perfect Water! High Tech H2O 220 Glenwood Ct. Danville, CA 94526 925 820-8829 1 800-794-5355 or 888 878-8300 These are some items for you to review in your quest for health and top athletic performance. Hopefully, they will at least provide some food for thought on diet and nutrition! Sincerely, Egon & Sheryl Doernbrack P.S. May God Bless you! Keep up the good work!
The Woodlands, TX USA

Comments by Denna Martin on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 06:23 IP Logged
I am in the process of reading this incredible book. I am also a lover of horses more than any other creature God created. I was especially excited to see a book come out on Seabiscuit because he is my all time favorite race horse, so much so that my grandfather left me an original photograph of Seabiscuit breezing with Georgie Wolfe on board, it is the highlight of all my collections. Thank you Laura for your contributions to the horse world and God Bless you and heal you soon. Denna Martin, Santa Rosa, CA.
santa rosa, ca USA

Comments by Brenda Gillarde on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 06:06 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, After reading some of the many comments I almost decided not to add anything. It seems its all been said very eloquently. But just to let you know I couldn't wait to get home from work so I could read your book. I felt like I had stepped back in time and was right there with Seabiscuit, Mr. Howard, Mr. Smith and Red. My throat got lumpy and I cried several times when Seabiscuit lost, or Red got hurt, or when Seabiscuit finally retired. Your ability to bring out this kind of emotion through words on a page is phenomenal. I will undoubtedly read this book again, and I await the movie with great impatience. Take Care.
Benicia, CA USA

Comments by Jani on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 05:18 IP Logged
DEAR FIONA, AND SEABISCUIT GUESTBOOK READERS: I read the following message that Fiona wrote in the Seabiscuit Guestbook on July 10, 2001, and answered her as follows: ------------------------------------------------------------ Dear Laura, I cried myself to sleep last night when I finished the book. I came to the realization that Seabiscuit died of a broken heart. After his last race the only person who ever understood him, or he understood, never saw him again. I grieve for a horse and a man Long dead. I console myself with the thought, that somewhere Seabiscuit and Smith are together. Saying nothing and saying everthing. fiona mckeown los angeles, ca USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 12:14:01 (EDT) ------------------------------------------------------------ My letter: I lived at Ridgewood Ranch in the 1940's, where my Dad's job was to look after all the Thoroughbred horses on the ranch and see they were cared for properly. It was a wonderful place to grow up, and we rode the whole Ranch, north, south, east and west, all the mountains and valleys, border to border and beyond. We knew all the creeks and rivers and lakes and springs. We took part in the roundups, markings and brandings, and other ranch activities. I am taking the liberty of answering your Email so you won't be left with the notion that Seabiscuit died of a broken heart. He lived out a very happy and contented life at Ridgewood Ranch. He had people who exercised him and cared for him. He had a big paddock with oak trees to nap under, and a large roomy stall at the main stud barn with the other Howard stallions. He had the best of feed and care, and an adoring public that came to visit him at his famous Ridgewood Ranch. Mr. Howard and Seabiscuit enjoyed riding around the ranch, and they were great buddies, and they understood each other, and enjoyed each other's company. Ridgewood Ranch was a wonderful place to live due to Mr. Howard's great planning, foresight, and generosity, and that time of my life will always have a special place in my heart. There WAS another life at Ridgewood after Seabiscuit's racetrack days were over, and it was a great one for those of us fortunate enough to be a part of it. If Seabiscuit has the same Ridgewood memories that I do, then he is happy where he is. We are fortunate to have Laura Hillenbrand with her special creative talent to write this Seabiscuit book as a reminder of this horse's great heart and perseverance, and of those men around him with the same qualities. It has given us the great gift of a vivid and accurate picture of the times and places and people of those years. If you wish to read more about Ridgewood in the 40's, please see my Guestbook entry of May 31,2001 I welcome any comments or correspondence sent to me at my Email address below. Sincerely, Jani Email:

Comments by Heinz Nussbaumer on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 05:18 IP Logged
Dear Laura, there is one incredible human beeing who has created the most outstanding, synergistically working and potent products available today. Check it out for yourself! All the best and thank you for your creation. Link:
Victoria, BC Canada

Comments by Cliff Norfleet on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 04:47 IP Logged
Laura, I just read USA Today article re Chronic Fatigue Syndrom and it reminded me of Michelle Akers of the USA World Cup and Olympic champion soccer teams. She has suffered from CFS for years but been able to play soccer at world class level. I know she is on gluten-free diet (as is my wife) and needs lots of IVs just to practice. Sorry about using your Guestbook for this but hope it provides some support. ( is web site). Best wishes, Cliff
San Jose, CA USA

Comments by Summer Green on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 04:03 IP Logged
Laura, I finished your book and I loved it! I cried throughout the book because I have been around horses my whole life and know that each one has a special personality. Seabiscuit was a very special horse. I wish I could have seen him run. I would like to purchase some Seabiscuit memorabilia but am having no luck finding any. If you could give me any leads, I would appreciate it! My e-mail address is: I am really looking forward to the movie!!

Comments by Dennis Duncan on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 03:55 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I am so happy you have written this book. Not only did I enjoy reading this masterpiece and insight of horse racing, I feel in love with Seabiscuit. Another reason even more important why this book was so profound to me. I got to know my father! You see my father ran away from home when he was 14 years old in 1916 or 1917. He was born in NYC and he landed at Belmont. He mucked stalls,walked hots, exercised horses and eventually was a jockey. He went from the flat to steeplechase. Every time he ended up in the hospital from falls he gain weight until he had to find something else. The track was the only life he knew so he was touting, jockey's agent, owner/trainer until he ended up as a Pinkerton guard on a back gate at Belmont in the late 1950's. It was then he ran away from home again never to be heard from again. A few years ago I found out from S.S. he died in upstate N.Y. in the '70's. I always remember him saying "you can't change the spots on a leopard". Your book gave me more understanding of that and how much he loved the track. He was a very good trainer but never mastered politics. You might find it funny but I went into auto racing and now I'm retired but I still hang around it. There is another reason why I'm writing you is because of the USA article. I went through a 3 year bout of fatigue about 4 years ago. It was about that time that a ad in USA for a product called "Herp-Eezz". The manufacture is Olympian Labs, Scottsdale,Az. Their phone is 800.473.5883. This product along with others are sold through distributors so they can tell you where you can find one near you. Anyway, my wife (she suffered with this to)and I have been taking this product and it has helped us. It is patented processed and it was developed to reduce the effects of the virus that might be part of your illness Again, thank you for your wonderful work. You have given me a wonderful gift. Dennis Duncan (son of Fred Duncan)
Sheboygan, wi USA

Comments by Jim Doyle on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 03:31 IP Logged
Ms Hillenbrand, I grew up in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, where Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons was a local icon. I went to school with some of his relatives. I assume the track you refer to in your book that surrounded the Fitzsimmons home was the old Sheepshead Bay Racetrack. I'm 73 and the track was gone by my time but my father spent a lot of time there as a kid. He was a horselover and a horseplayer (he died broke!) and I could never understand his passion for the "Sport of Kings" but your book has made understanding his obsession a little easier. Thanks! Jim Doyle
Mahwah, NJ USA

Comments by Kathy Tolf on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 02:32 IP Logged
My father would have loved your book. He grew up in the shadow of Aqueduct Race Track, and never quite made it to the high school on the other side. He was a kid who started out selling pencils and wound up talking someone into letting him ride. He said they thought they would get rid of him once he was bucked off; instead, he stayed until WW2 as an exercise boy for Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons. His whole life revolved around those horses, and he even went to Hialeah in the boxcar, sleeping between two bales of hay so as not to get kicked or stomped. The other workers even went so far as to smuggle him past the Truant Officer so he could ride. Not only did you tell a great story about the Biscuit, you gave me a look at a piece of my late father's life. Thank You.
Pawling, NY USA

Comments by Rick Marks on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 02:28 IP Logged
As someone who has had a 33-year love affair with horse racing since I was 16 and even decided to scrap a 14-year career at The New York Times to work for Steven Crist as Director of Marketing for NYRA in 1995-96, then rejoined Steve as Ad Director for Daily Racing Form from 1998-2000, it's not surprising that I received three copies of your book for my birthday in April. I have since given five other copies of your book as gifts to friends who do not necessarily love racing. Your story of Seabiscuit transcends the track. It is a story of human triumph, unselfishness, generosity and coincidence that such diverse and dysfunctional individuals could somehow merge together to forge this legendary run. I would have loved to have lived in the late 30's when horse racing was a sport and not a gaming sideshow referred to in the same sentence as video slots, lotteries and blackjack. The fact that the world seemed to stop everytime this magnificent animal walked on a racetrack is just mind boggling. If Seabiscuit had been around today, the main concern of most people watching him win the Big Cap would have been what did the Seabiscuit-Kayak exacta pay? Thanks, Laura for taking me to a wonderful place during my mundane commutes to work on the Long Island Rail Road of the past couple of weeks. I can't wait to see the movie. Sincerely, Rick Marks
Great Neck, NY USA

Comments by Judy Harris on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 02:13 IP Logged
I saw a brief excerpt of your interview today. Keep a positive outlook. My daughter had this when she was 14 [1989]. For a year we did not know if she would live or die. It took near a full year to even get her diagnosed and then so many professionals didn't believe the diagnosis. Despite the fevers, swollen glands, etc., her trusted pediatrician even recommended psychiatric help. With the support of family, one good doctor, and the help of God, she finally went into a semi-remission. Today she is 25, married, and is able to hold a full time job even though she has to be careful not to overdo and get enough rest and proper nutrition. I wish you the best. Keep up the good writing.

Comments by Dan Nguyen on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 02:07 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I've read USA's article today about your CFS. You should consult any physician who has MD and OMD degrees. I had gone thru that problem like yours 12 years ago. When checking or testing physician cannot find anything wrong, but the relationships between organs are not right so you have CFS. Good luck, Dan
Waldorf, MD USA

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