Defying the Odds

Literary Loop

A new book, Against All Odds: The Donnie Hixon Story — Burt Reynolds’ Stunt Double in The Longest Yard, by local author resident Stan Byrdy of Martinez will be available in mid-December.

Against All Odds traces the hardships and ultimate redemption of “the other No. 22,” Donnie Hixon, as he journeys from a childhood of hard knocks in Augusta’s Harrisburg neighborhood to Hollywood.

With his unlikely role as stunt double for Burt Reynolds in 1974’s The Longest Yard, which was filmed at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville in 1973, Hixon, who now lives in Martinez, overcomes a series of life-altering setbacks as a youngster.

The heartbreaking and humorous tale of Hixon’s life includes an ample dose of Augusta history.

In addition to Reynolds and Green Bay Packer legend Ray Nitschke, “The Godfather of Soul” James Brown, the Augusta Riots of 1970, the Augusta Eagles football team and alleged cover-ups in a small-town police department play starring roles in the book.

“It’s like a modern-day Forrest Gump,” says Byrdy. ‘I’m happy that Donnie’s story is finally being told.”

The book will be available at Sacred Heart Cultural Center, on Amazon and at other area locations.