Professor Chris Hamilton writes novel entitled “The House Rules”

Jennie Loucks

On May 8, Chris Hamilton, professor of political science at Washburn said he will finally bring light to a story that has been hidden for 40 years This date marks the opening sales of his first historical novel, “The House Rules.”

Four years after the death of Terry Householter, the main character of this non-fiction novel, no one knew his story. Hamilton had run track with this remarkable young man at Concordia High School, and years later, Householter’s friends wanted someone to finally tell his story.

Hamilton agreed to take on the task because Householter was everybody’s friend, and despite his difficult beginnings, living with his grandparents, he still managed to be a loved and positive figure to all.

“This is a story for the ages,” said Hamilton. “It is the story of ‘our’ time, a time of terror, which we turned into hope in our hearts.”

The novel is set in Concordia in the 1960s. At age 13, after a miraculous kick-off return by Householter, the likes of which no one had ever seen, coaches began to notice his potential. Years later, he was named the fastest high school sprinter in Kansas. But the odds had been against him his whole life, and during his senior year, when he was offered track scholarships, he turned it down to join the Marines.

Two weeks before Householter was scheduled to return home from the war, he was killed in a battle where his men were outnumbered eight to one. They were trapped on the side of a mountain, and while following orders to descend it, Terry was able to make one call on the radio before he was shot and killed. The call saved the lives of the rest of his men.

The title of this book, “The House Rules,” has three separate meanings. First of all, Hamilton explained that in sports lingo, Householter was known as “The House.” This aspect of the title means that in any race, his opponents were doomed. The second meaning refers to the way in which Householter lived his life, by “his rules.” Friends were friends until the end, even if that meant dying for them. Finally, “The House Rules” encompass a time period in which rules were hard for everyone.

“This isn’t just one story of a boy, but this is also the story of a forgotten generation,” said Hamilton.

He emphasized that this is really more of a love story for Kansans, showing how they took tough experiences and rose up together.

“The ’60s were a harsh time. It was a time of rebellion, and our generation’s story has been lost,” said Hamilton.

The book will be available from Amazon and starting May 8. Hamilton’s current plans include three book signings on campus, tentatively set for June 10, the end of August and just before Christmas break.