The words, "English Literature and Composition" strike fear in the hearts of most students. At Central High School in San Jose, California the students have been blessed with four teachers that like to crack jokes and have a good time in the classroom. During the faculty scholarship fundraiser two years earlier, they had performed a parody of "Dawn", a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons song. It was "Central, You're Too Thin For Me." Rick Podowski and the Hefty Trio had become an instant hit, and the group’s name had stuck.
The four had worked together teaching English for over twenty-five years and each one of them knew that keeping a sense of humor was the only way to survive. When they had started working together all of them had been thin, athletic, and single. Over the years, marriage and children had contributed to the weight gain and since, now that nights of hard drinking and dancing were in the past, all that was left was eating--their common bond.
Rick Podowski is not very tall and is upset because for some strange reason his suits keep shrinking, especially around the midsection.
He knew, however, that in spite of the physical changes, the group still had the same dedication and love of teaching that had been present when they first met.
Each of them is deeply involved in informal counseling, extracurricular activities and in making sure that each student obtains all the success of which they are capable. In terms of their relationship, each offers a different perspective.
Leti Rios, a short, round-faced, second generation Mexican-American woman is extremely loyal to Rick and willing to do anything he asks while Erin McGinty is the most imposing with long straight red hair, pasty white skin, and a large frame that made her look plump rather than obese. She is independent, and always ready to start trouble.
Teresa Spinelli on the other hand is the Italian grandmother type--short, broad hips and a big smile.
And the peacemaker when she is not competing with Erin and Leti to become the center of attention. The four of them are loyal to each other and they work together.
Read more about each book ...
Throughout the four novels Rick and the Hefty Trio indulge in some absolutely delicious Polish, Mexican, Irish, and Italian dinners pairing with boutique wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Recipes and information (including Internet sales) about the wineries and their owners are included in the books.
Fans of Rick Podowski and the Hefty Trio will follow the recipes in the back of the books to make a pot of Bigos (hunter's stew) or an Irish Egg, Bacon, and Leek Pie, and then sit down with a bottle or two of a Burrell School Syrah or a bottle of River Run Vintners Cote D' Aromas to enjoy reading and discussing the novels.