View Published Works
                            CHEYENNE RISING SUN, a historical novel
                            ROD, a biography
                            TAKIN' IT BACK, a novel
                            Magazine Publications



   The Subject:

  This historical novel tells the highly dramatic and compelling parallel stories of the Northern Cheyenne great chief, Morning Star, and his great grandson, Ted Rising Sun.  Both men were visionaries, warriors, husbands, fathers, and great leaders.  Their lives are interwoven as the epic saga unfolds across the plains from Oklahoma to Nebraska and from Montana to Washington, DC.



  In the late 19th century, as white men were discovering the unspoiled America found west of the Mississippi, Morning Star realized that unless his people were to adapt to the ways of this new world, they would be eradicated from the earth.  Through an ordeal few could survive he saved his people from extinction and gained the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana, as the permanent home to his nation.  Every element of nature, from the parched sun-drenched earth of the southwest to the blizzards of the north, plus disease and famine along with the barbarous treatment at the hand of those government authorities charged with the containment of the Cheyenne, combined in the form of a monumental test of the vision and the resolve of this great leader of the Cheyenne.

  In the second half of the 20th century, when minorities in this country began their quest for equality, cultural recognition, and liberty, many of them spoke out in anger at the government.  Ted Rising Sun realized that to continue to wallow in the pain of the past was self-destructive.  Rather, he could see that the education of the Cheyenne children, as well as all Indian children, was the key to overcoming the poverty and unemployment that has plagued Native Americans since the establishment of the reservation system. 


 An arduous battle with the Bureau of Indian Affairs led to Ted's testimony before the U.S. Senate, and his eventual victory for Indian education.  The Northern Cheyenne were granted the first-ever contract from the BIA to run their own primary and secondary school.  However, to accomplish any of this Ted first had to overcome alcoholism and post traumatic stress syndrome from his combat experience in North Korea.      

Historical Basis:

What is written in this story has been thoroughly researched.  Sources of information include the U.S. Congressional Record, U.S. Senate Hearings records, the military tribunal records, the Chicago Tribune, The New York Tribune, numerous historical publications, and the actual sites where the events occurred.  Most importantly, the writer, John Kuri, was privileged to be granted exclusive access to the archives of the Morning Star Memorial Foundation, a repository of the oral and written history of the Northern Cheyenne.

The book is available through all book sellers.

In 2018 the book was selected for inclusion in the archives of the American Philisophical Society located in Philadelphia. Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, the American Philosophical Society was the first learned society in the United States. For over 250 years, the Society has played an important role in American cultural and intellectual life. Until the mid-nineteenth century, the Society fulfilled the role of a national academy of science, national library and museum, and even patent office. Early members of the Society included Thomas Jefferson, David Rittenhouse, Benjamin Rush, Stephen Peter Du Ponceau, George Washington, and many other figures prominent in American history.

The Archives of the American Philosophical Society consists of 192.25 linear feet of material, organized into thirteen record groups dating back to 1743. The Society's archives extensively documents not only the organization's historical development but also its role in American history and the history of science and technology.




TAKIN' IT BACK, hardcover


The Novel

Takin' It Back, previewed in June 2005 at Book Expo America in NYC and its hardcover edition was released in September of that year. Shaquille O'Neal and the NBA have endorsed the book along with Hall of Famer Bill Walton, and the Police Activities League. A CBS one-hour Sports Spectacular Pride, Passion, and Power introduced John Kuri and promoted the novel while presenting a segment about Anita Ortega. She is an NCAA Hall of Fame basketball player, now the Commanding Officer of the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollenbeck Division, and whose inspiring character is at the center of this story.



The book is available through all book sellers.





Below left, LAPD Chief of Police William J. Bratton, flanked by LAPD Cmndr Mike Downing and Capt Anita Ortega, accepts his hand-carved commemorative plaque at the book launch event in Hollywood.

Below right, EEI advisory board director, Eric Westin, at the event. Reebok gave gift bags to Hollywood PAL kids in addition to the Elixir contribution of a book to each of the 60 PAL kids in attendance from the greater LA area.


John Kuri, Jerome Kersey, and Douglas Gorman


 ROD, hardcover

The Novel's Foreword

This is a book about GRIT...the kind that makes a person dare to reach higher than anyone thought possible. This is the story of a little bitty fellow who has never learned to spell the words can't and quit...and probably never will. Why would he...after where he has been and the life experiences he has had!

Sick and tired of people telling him he was too small to do a lot of athletic activities, he pushed the bar aside and kept on reaching. The coaches must have been afraid for his life when he would hurl his eighty-pound body into the fray called football. But at age 13, standing four feet-ten inches...he jumped on the back of a rodeo bull and rode him and he tasted success. Oh it was the sweet taste he had been hungering for, and he set out to find some more.

And he surely did despite traveling down a road with a lot of bumps.
He found his greatest success as a Washington State University Cougar varsity football player.

I am a Cougar, an old one. It was Washington State COLLEGE when I landed there after four years in the US Marines in 1950. I grew up in the Corps, so I had some understanding of perseverance. And when I heard the story of Rod Retherford I wanted to help lead as many people as possible to the story of this remarkable competitor.

John Kuri is the author.  His pace is swift and the story is thrilling. I'm sure you will enjoy his work.

In fifty-four years of broadcasting all manner of college football and every other sport known, one learns to see the competitor, he or she will stand out given a chance...and it is these who inspire...who light the candle in others.

Good Luck Rod Retherford!

Keith Jackson
WSU-Class of '54


National Sportscasters and Sports Writers Hall of Fame
Rose Bowl Hall of Fame
The American Football Coaches Association awarded him its Amos Alonzo Stagg Award in 1993 as an individual "whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football." He is the first sports announcer to receiver the Stagg award.


The book is available through all book sellers.

The Story

  This is the true story of Rod Retherford, a kid that was told he was too-small to play varsity football in John Day, Oregon, and not to waste the coach's time trying because he would not play for even one second this despite the fact that Rod had been bull-riding in junior rodeo since he was thirteen and had played both as a quarterback and defensive back as a freshman, who after his older brother's death in front of him in a freak rodeo accident was emotionally bankrupt, who in that pain gave his mind over to street procured mental sedatives like marijuana and booze as a way of coping with such loss, who then got his act together thanks to the strong hand and passionate belief of his mother and the never ending support of his dad, who then was dropped to the ground seemingly a quadriplegic in the aftermath of an accidental gun shot and told that he may not survive let alone physically recover this at the very moment he was awarded a full-ride scholarship to Washington State University, who then dropped from school out of depression, but fought his way back in what would be the struggle of a lifetime, rejoined the WSU Cougars, thus defeating the biggest odds he would ever face. Rod then played a season of seasons for Washington State University. He was a key component in the defensive half of a team that made history in the state of Washington and in the PAC 10 conference in the 1981 season. He and his teammates, under the guidance of the entire coaching staff with Jim Walden at the helm, wrote new pages for the chronicles of the Palouse.

John Kuri has been a contributing writer to a number of monthly publications.