Sandy McDonough has a long history, not just with Highland Park but with the country itself.
A fourth generation nephew of George Washington, McDonough was a United States Marine, followed by a stint as vice president for a family business, and then a career as a now semi-retired realtor. His next move? Author.
After a trip to Virginia to explore his family history deep-rooted with the founding fathers, McDonough found he had a wealth of photos, and a newfound passion for the birthplace of the U.S.
“When I came home, I didn’t know it was going to be a book. I had just thrown together the photos I had taken in a folder,” he said. “I wasn’t in any hurry.”
Flash forward four years, and McDonough’s first book, at 130 pages, sits on his (and many others’) coffee table. Now, McDonough has five self-published books under his belt and his latest, The Days of Music, is filled with nostalgic memories of Dallas’ music past.
“I certainly loved music growing up. My sister and I would go buy 45s of the artists of the day like Buddy Holly and Elvis, we collected them,” he said.
Elvis still remains a love of McDonough’s, and has a special place every December in his foyer, where he and his wife, Susie, set up a Graceland Christmas scene, complete with pink Cadillac.
The book sprung from McDonough’s memories, compounded with research. Starting with the lists he and his friends made in high school, of musicians, songs, venues, and pretty much everything under the sun (which was turned into its own book, Old Remembrances), The Days of Music is full of nostalgia.
In fact, all of McDonough’s books offer a glimpse into the past. His first, Our Founding Fathers Homes, focuses on the first years of our 249-year-old country. His more recent The Days of Golf offer a more personal history into Dallas’ past and specifically McDonough’s time with his father, one of the first members of Northwood Country Club, exploring the city’s golf scene.
As a self-described “labor of love,” the writing gives McDonough an outlet for his appreciation of his own personal history and that of his city.
“Having grown up, I’ve seen the growth and influx of entrepreneurs that have brought vision and forward thinking to the city,” McDonough said. “Dallas is built on a lot of creativity. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”