How often have you heard a story and asked, “Is that really true?” Sometimes life’s events seem too bizarre to have actually occurred—but they did. The Spirit of Villarosa contains tales told by a known raconteur, whose stories were sometimes doubted but were filled with truth.
Horace Dade Ashton’s stories fall into an area in which truth might be suspended. His life consisted of one adventure after the next, from creating a “trick” photograph of President Theodore Roosevelt on jumping over a hurdle on horseback to meeting the president and becoming his official White House photographer; from travelling around the world with President-Elect William Howard Taft to having a two-hour religious discussion with Rasputin along the way; and from flying above the Andes with Jimmy Doolittle to journeying to northern Canada to help starving Eskimos. These exploits fall among many that Horace Ashton experienced during a life that spanned from 1883 to 1976.
When Horace told his tales, even his devoted son Marc doubted their veracity. After Horace died, Marc discovered the truth, hidden in a series of scrapbooks dutifully kept by his aunt. Their contents documented all that his father said. Over the past thirteen years, Marc has been documenting his father’s stories, along with his own harrowing tale, and soon the world will know that Horace Ashton’s stories were not only entertaining, but they were also true.