David Lee Windecher - The Inspirational Story of Man Who Left Behind a Life of Crime and Became a Defense Attorney
At a quick glance, David Lee Windecher’s book, “The AmerIcan Dream: HisStory in the Making,” seems to be like any of our culture’s great “rags-to-riches” narratives. From empire-building Oprah Winfrey’s early childhood years of wearing potato sack dresses, to coffee tycoon Howard Schultz growing up in the projects, to billion-dollar hairstylist mogul John Paul Deojoria living in his car, Windecher’s book would appear to have all the ingredients of another classic “feel good” story. And yet, there is so much more in terms of grit, character, and depth to this book.
The first half of Windecher’s saga descriptively portrays the early part of his life growing up in the “hood.” From stealing cars, to selling drugs, to gangsta fights, to mere survival, the reader becomes well-acquainted with this North Miami Beach “addictive” world. It is not pretty. It is not easy. It is certainly not for the weary.
The unpleasantness and discomfort of reading about this kind of culture would often make one detach and distance themselves from it. Surprisingly, the poetic style in which the book is written keeps the reader engaged, connected, and curious.
Although Windecher was merely trying to personify his rapster life, he may have actually created an incredible document to better understand the fabric of ghetto life. As a result of empathic conceptualizations, hopefully this will become a platform for further discourse from parties of all walks and diversity. Such communication will potentially lead to some emotionally charged constructive conversation on how to deal with pressing problems similar to those seen in the marches of Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, and New York.
The second half of the book focuses on Windecher’s personal change from “rule-breaking thug” to “law-abiding attorney.” The metamorphosis was anything but easy. Moreover, the essence of “transformation” would not even come close to the will power it took for Windecher to become the man he is today.
Beyond transformation, Windecher’s upward climb felt more like transcendence.
First, Windecher transcended religion. Windecher didn’t go to church. He did not participate in prayer groups. His language certainly did not represent one of virtuousness. Yet, his sincere relation with God pushed him to greater heights. His daily morning prayer to become a better person – coupled with a belief in a higher power who unconditionally loved him – tenaciously pushed Windecher to a greater destiny.
Second, Windecher transcended education. Windecher certainly did not earn any “brownie points” in reading, writing, and arithmetic. He was not given any extra credit for dropping out of high school. Surprisingly, Windecher’s best school training
occurred in his “6 x8” jail cell. In the quietude of that space, Windecher actually started to use critical thinking skills. He logically began asking tough real life questions such as, “What do I need to do to get out this destructive cycle?” Then, he would harness the practice of creative brainstorming to come up with innovative solutions.
Finally, Windecher transcended the political system. While many with such a lengthy past criminal history would have given up trying to get a state license to practice law, Windecher patiently, logically, and persuasively used the traditional respect of the United States justice system to help those governmental officials see that he had successfully rehabilitated himself. In addition to Windecher’s achievement of earning his license, a big congratulatory “shout-out” is in order for both the Florida Bar and the Honorable Robert James. They transcended the notion of being “politically correct” and made a courageous decision based upon the higher values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They, too, are heroes!
In closing, it is my hope that this book will not become shelved in public libraries or lost in the digitized world of the cloud. “The AmerIcan Dream” will make a wonderful high school English book to teach the principles of justice, resilience, and transcendence. God Bless America for giving David Lee Windecher the opportunity of a lifetime. May he continue to make this world a better place. I highly suggest you read this book. You will not be disappointed!