Auburn Legend Talks Football, Politics, the South and More in Most Personal Book Yet


Located on Ninth Street in downtown Opelika, the Museum of East Alabama will host a book signing by David Housel Thursday, Aug. 26 from  4 to 6 p.m. with a wine and cheese reception. Housel’s new book, “From the Back Booth at Chappy’s,” features a series of stories about the south, football, politics, religion and more.

If you’ve visited Chappy’s Deli on East Glenn Avenue in Auburn for breakfast in the past 15 years, you’ve likely seen a group of men clustered in the back booth, sipping coffee, and engaging in lively discussion on a variety of topics. You’ve probably heard laughter and maybe a few tame arguments. Serious discussions as they call it.

Now you can find out what they are thinking, saying and feeling.

At the center of that group is legendary Auburn Man David Housel, who has parlayed his mornings spent with friends into a book filled with the group’s thoughts, recollections, hopes and dreams, as well as some humor and serious thought along the way.

Housel’s seventh book includes a collection of short stories, thoughts and essays gleaned from his time spent at the Auburn restaurant with people from all walks of life. 

He writes about anticipated topics, like football, but also delves into other topics that, like football, aren’t supposed to be talked about in polite company – things like politics and religion. These are everyday discussions at the back booth at Chappy’s, and they are usually polite and respectful. Usually. 

“I’ve never done a book like this,” Housel said. “All of my earlier writing platforms have been Auburn-related. I’m very proud of my association with Auburn. Very proud of it, but this book gives me the chance to do more, to go into areas that are important to me, and should be, I believe, important to all people. Things that matter.

“It is truly what the subtitle says, a book about “football, politics, religion and more.”

Several book signings are scheduled around the state where individuals can purchase the book, have it inscribed and share a few words and thoughts with the author himself.  

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Housel said. “I look forward to getting back out among the people, seeing old friends, visiting and interacting with people about the things that are important and really matter.”

Housel, an Alabama native and a 1969 Auburn graduate, served as journalism instructor, sports information director and director of athletics in his 36-year career at Auburn. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. 

He has written seven books including “Saturdays to Remember,” “From the Desk of David Housel, a Collection of Auburn Stories” and the “Auburn University Football Vault.” He has also served as chair of the dean of Liberal Arts advisory council.

Housel knows the pathos and humor of living in the South and writes about it in the spirit of Ferrol Sams, Wendell Berry, Lewis Grizzard and Wright Thompson.