The Life of Al Ferguson (post HS) in 400 Words or Less
Al is our class Renaissance man—political activist, librarian, business man, golfer, author, photographer, musician.
After HS and a B.A. in English and History from Millikin, Al moved west for graduate school at the University of Denver (M. A. and doctoral study). In the early 1970s he was back in Decatur for three years, working at the public library and starting Decatur’s popular Black and White band with Preston Jackson and other “all-stars” from the 1960s.
Returning to Colorado, Al worked as a PR flak in Colorado politics and continued playing music as often as six nights a week. He finished the 1970s with an M.A. in library and information science.
Between 1985 and 1995 Al and his wife, Ruth Wimmer, influenced the look of infant development toys with their line of black and white products, notably the “Infant Stim-Mobile.” Ruth made the products; Al sold them throughout the United States and through seven international distributors. The business was sold and Al retired at age 51. The products are still sold under the brand name “Wimmer-Ferguson Child Products.”
In 1998 Al made a golf trip to Scotland with Bryden Carnahan, Bob Givens, Randy Van Alstine. Subsequently, he started a golf travel business and published the first of four editions of Golf in Scotland: A Travel-Planning Guide with Profiles of 74 Great Courses (available at www.amazon.com). Al has played all but a few of those courses on some twenty-five trips to Scotland and Ireland. His golf website is www.fergusongolf.com.
Most recently, on a driving trip between Colorado and Illinois, Al was inspired to write Route 36: Ohio to Colorado—America’s Heartland Highway, a guidebook for travelers on Route 36 (bisecting Decatur on Eldorado St.). The book is available at www.amazon.com and www.us36guidebook.com.
Though stymied in 2020 by the covid pandemic, Al continues playing music as a guitarist on the Denver jazz scene. He has recorded five CDs including a three-volume collection of original arrangements of songs by Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Richard Rodgers.
Al’s current project is a wide-ranging memoir with the working title, Child of the Times.