Stuart Held, a veteran of the wholesale photographic industry, was one of the key team members of the distributorship – Ehrenreich Photo Optical Industries – who made ‘Nikon’ the household word it is today. Mr. Held is an experienced marketer with an engineering background. He has traveled extensively in the International and USA Domestic markets promoting photography. Mr. Held resides in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York with his wife of almost 50 years.
BACKSTRETCH is a story that takes place in the glorious world of thethoroughbred. It challenges the honesty of some of what goes on at the races. Does this book suggest that races are fixed? It does not. In no way does the writer seek to indict the racing industry as being crooked,dishonest or unsafe. Do dishonest things happen? Yes. Does baseball have a drug enhancement problem? Does basketball have a referee gambling scandal? Did college basketball have a point-shaving problem? The answer is yes three times: where money and glory intersect, temptation flourishes. The more the public is informed the better the chance of thwarting temptation. The historical sagas of Secretariat, Whirlaway and Man-of-War should not be blemished in any way. Backstretch is a story, most of it fiction, but, some of it experienced by friends of the author. This murder mystery is intended to give the reader a sense of what goes on in the Sport of Kings, and some of its inadequacies,particularly the grim conditions familiar to the men and women of the backstretch, the bowels of the racetrack.
How the business of photographic equipment was accomplished in the early 1950’s. The story is wrapped around the intrigue of a part stolen by the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) from a newly developed Navy submarine periscope camera system. A young CIA agent, Robert Schein, is thrown into an international bidding war involving Red China, Russia and East Germany. Schein’s ‘cover’ is that of a photographic distributor who imports the now popular Nikon camera system of photography. The action takes place in Japan and gives an intimate look into Japanese traditions, business methods and its people.
The author develops a High Energy Laser weapon – PTHEL – which blinds the enemy. It is a weapon that we believe does not currently exist. We are certain however, that this has been researched. Three communist powers – USSR, East Germany and China – become interested in developing a PTHEL weapon. Robert Schein, a CIA agent working under the cover of a photographic distributor – TAG Photographic Inc. gets involved in trying to thwart the venture. He also becomes personally involved because of a kidnapping of a close friend, a scientist forced to work on the weapon. This is an action packed story of a weapon that is very close to being developed. In fact a form of this weapoon is currently used in Iraq. It is called the Dazzler. It temporarily blinds the victim.
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