Bloodlines … Pedigree & Progeny

by Robert A. Hilliard


Book Details

A young man determined to avenge his mother’s sexual assault by a powerful politician. The scions of two wealthy thoroughbred racing families, each trying to make his own mark in the world. A German family driven – and torn apart – by deeply held secrets. Bloodlines explores how our pasts and pedigrees can have unexpected impacts on our futures and progeny. Using as backdrop thoroughbred racing, breeding and betting parlors; bourbon distilleries; the arcane business of powder metal manufacturing, and the world’s “beautiful game” of soccer, author Rob Hilliard takes readers from post-World War II Germany to 1980s Kentucky and Virginia … from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. to Ireland, the European Continent and Israel … from the early years of the Civil Rights movement to the fall of the Berlin Wall. How these disparate worlds, locations and individuals become entwined over decades drives this sweeping story of corporate intrigue, international drama and, most of all, the family ties that bind them.


Book Excerpt

Consuela Parks Pettiford was born and raised in the Washington Heights section of upper Manhattan, the only child of a mother who had come to Miami from the Dominican Republic as a teen and a father whose New Orleans roots dated back to the early 1700s.

As young adults, Concesa Parks and Elton Pettiford both moved to Harlem shortly after World War II. They met as co-workers - one a waitress, the other a cook - in A.M. Bagels/P.M. Burgers, a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant on the ground floor of an old apartment building on Broadway near the George Washington Bridge.

Concesa and Elton spent time together, eventually sharing tight living quarters in an apartment building just north and west of Broadway a few blocks from the restaurant, as much to make financial ends meet as to share a relationship that was more than companionship but fell short of love.

Their economic situation and the nature of their relationship explained both the birth of a daughter and their decision to make sure another child would not be born to either of them. At the same time, they committed to do whatever they could to give their newborn daughter the best possible shot at "the American dream," the seed for which would be the finest education they could afford. They asked a priest in the hospital to marry them with their newborn daughter in attendance.

Concesa the waitress eventually became Concesa the cashier, while Elton the cook was promoted to shift manager. The two saved diligently for their daughter's schooling, led a spartan life and made sure Consuela hit the books every night. When it came time for high school, mom and dad sent their daughter to the Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School on a partial scholarship. Excelling at one of the nation's oldest nonsectarian private schools, Consuela graduated magna cum laude and earned a full scholarship to Columbia.

Four years later, the daughter of a Dominican waitress/cashier and Creole short-order cook/shift manager earned a bachelor's degree with honors from Columbia's School of Journalism and gained admission to Fordham University's School of Law. Consuela deferred entry in order to earn a second bachelor's degree in business administration. Incredibly devoted to her parents and having marveled for years at their dogged determination to give her a far better life than they had experienced, Consuela decided to pursue a legal career focused on immigration law.

After passing her exams in the State of New York and Washington, D.C., Consuela accepted a position as an associate at Stratton-Oakes, one of the nation's preeminent international business and immigration law firms. Having climbed the proverbial mountain, Consuela abruptly had her American dream shattered within months of joining the firm.


About the Author

Robert A. Hilliard

Taking “write what you know” to heart, Jersey City native Rob Hilliard has drawn on his 40+ year career as a PR and MarCom executive with global corporations, his own entrepreneurial experiences running three businesses, a passion for the “sport of kings” and a life-long love of history to create Bloodlines … Pedigree & Progeny. Now retired to the home of his undergraduate alma mater, Hilliard and his wife, Kim Buckey, currently live in Charlottesville, VA. His own bloodlines trace back to Ireland, Poland and Ukraine; his progeny include sons Jeffrey and David and grandsons Liam and Graham. His memoir, The Circus Is In Town: A Baseball Odyssey, recounts his own “field of dreams” saga and is also available through Outskirts Press.

Also by Robert A. Hilliard

The Circus Is In Town
What Are the Odds?
All In?...
Life's Elusive Horizon
Bloodlines … Pedigree & Progeny