Edgar's family

Edgar’s mom Linda Rider, Grandpa Paul Fannin and Grandma Elma Fannin during campaign days, circa 1964.

Grandparents can play a huge role in many people’s lives, and Arcadia area resident Edgar Rider acknowledges these strong family ties in his new book 5990: Tribute Story about Grandparents. 

Rider is a Scottsdale native who works as a freelance writer and paraprofessional in special education. His latest book takes a trip down memory lane to reflect on the influence his grandparents had on him and his siblings. 

After publishing his first book, a memoir titled Riding Out the Kipling Effect, Rider shifted his focus to family for his second book, sharing his history and specifically the sacrifices his grandparents made. 

“After dealing with lots of high school students, I have a new appreciation for my grandparents,” Rider said. “My grandfather was the hardest working person I ever met, and my grandmother was always supportive.”

In the book, Rider recounts how his grandfather, former Arizona Governor and U.S. Senator Paul Fannin, was looking forward to retirement with his wife, Elma. However, life had other plans for the couple, as they ended up helping raise Rider and his two siblings. 

The book explores generational differences, frequent disagreements and life lessons, and how sometimes, grandparents may try to impart their wisdom on stubborn grandchildren who won’t listen. 

“On the more humorous side, they took us to places they wanted no part of. Grandpa hated comic books and wrestling, but ended up taking me to the comic bookstore and closed-circuit Wrestlemania,” Rider recalled. “They didn’t understand pop culture; it wasn’t part of their upbringing. We had Duran Duran, Alice Cooper, Wrestlemania, Back to the Future, TV shows and music we were obsessed with. Despite it, they would take us to places because we liked going there. It was an unselfish act on their part.”

Rider’s story is also about his appreciation and deep respect for family dynamics and the effect grandparents can have on their grandchildren’s lives. He writes that looking back on his childhood, he now knows how much his grandparents cared about him and his siblings and how much they tried to help them. The couple did their best to support and prepare them for bright futures. 

If there’s one thing Rider wants people to take away from his book, it’s that grandparents deserve more credit. He hopes the book reminds readers of the genuine love and appreciation many grandparents have for their grandchildren and the impact they can have on their lives. He says his grandparents helped shape him as an adolescent and made him the person he is today.

“I believe people will relate to a specific place and the importance of grandparents and many in the Arcadia area will recognize some of the people in our Arizona Fannin family,” Rider said. “People will remember things from their own families and remember growing up in the eighties.”

5990: Tribute Story about Grandparents is available on Amazon.