Miles From Home is a deeply personal story and a narrative of the American dream. Born to a devoted mother and severely alcoholic father, Phillip Lee Woods
was sent as an 11 year old to live with a taciturn grandfather on a lonely farm in Indiana’s countryside. Doing backbreaking chores from daybreak to dark
and walking a long, deserted road to catch the bus, Woods’ school years were marked by toil, embarrassment about his circumstances, and a yearning to
reunite with his mother and sister. Living in an isolated farmhouse with no indoor plumbing, no phone, and little heat, Woods and his grandfather helped
each other to survive.
These challenging early experiences helped the young Woods become a determined, perseverant man. Woods started out as a postal clerk, and despite not
having a college education, he went on to found his own successful insurance business, Woods & Grooms, Inc. Along the way, he married his favorite post
office patron and had a family of his own. His climb to ultimate success was riddled with many failures, including near bankruptcies and unsuccessful
forays into raising horses and running a flight school.
But more than a story of the American dream – of a man who, like many, started with nothing and went on to achieve success and serve his community- this is
a love story, not just between Woods and his wife of more than 50 years, but between Woods and America. At the age of 66, he decided to walk across the
country from east to west, determined to see its roads again close up and meet its inhabitants in person. He wanted to see the country not as politicians
and lobbyists were formulating it, but see it as a land of individuals who had their own values, their own opinions. In 2010, Woods again walked across the
Unites States, from north to south, a testament to what a stout heart, a devoted wife, and a few good pairs of sneakers could accomplish.
This is the tale of a long, winding journey. Readers of Woods’ story respond to the at times heartbreakingly honest narrative, to the tale of a life of
struggle, triumphs, failures, and tragedies, but most of all they are inspired by the can-do spirit of a man who insists we all keep moving.