St. John of the Midfield by Garasamo Maccagnone
An almost mystical story of Bobo Stoikov, one of the world’s greatest soccer players, who escapes death in communist Bulgaria to find the American Dream. Due to severe injury during Bobo’s escape, he is unable to play once he arrives in America. Though he finds peace and happiness in simply coaching soccer to youth travel teams, his eccentric ways of teaching and his success lead to a hate-filled rivalry, and eventually, his death.
In the early 80’s,Garasamo Maccagnone studied creative writing and literature under noted American writers Sam Astrachan and Stuart Dybek at Wayne State University and Western Michigan University. A college baseball player as well, Maccagnone met his wife Vicki as a junior at WMU. The following year, after injuring his throwing arm, Maccagnone left school and his baseball ambitions to marry Vicki.
After a two year stint at both W.B. Doner and BBDO advertising agencies, Maccagnone left the industry to apply his knowledge of marketing in a new venture in an up and coming industry. Maccagnone created a company called, “Crate and Fly,” and turned it from a store front in 1984 to a world-wide multi-million dollar shipping corporation by 1994.
Though Maccagnone was asked and toyed with running for the United States Senate that year, the burden of such a race would have been too much of a strain on his young family. Instead of getting involved in politics, Maccagnone chose to start his writing and youth soccer coaching career. During that time, he wrote the children’s book, “The Suburban Dragon,” and his collection of short stories and poetry entitled, “The Affliction of Dreams.” He also took his new found love for soccer so seriously he created a youth club and built an indoor soccer training facility.
It was during the year of 1996 that Maccagnone met the former Bulgarian national player Jordan Mitkov. It was in the time Maccagnone spent under Mitkov’s tutelage that the idea for St. John of the Midfield was incubated. Ten years later, Maccagnone resurrected a writing career when the story finally burned out of him.