Book ClubApr 26, 2018

Book Club: Geauxing Galt by Jason Garey

“Geauxing Galt” tells the story of Wyatt Bourgeouis, “a self-made, principled oil driller, who runs into an massive government leviathan in South Louisiana.” 

The book was written by Jason Garey, a former professional soccer player who had stints with the Carolina Railhawks (2012), Houston Dynamo (2011) and Columbus Crew (2006-2010). Garey helped the Crew become MLS Cup Champions (2008), MLS Supporter’s Shield Champions (2008, 2009) and MLS Eastern Conference Champions (2008). 

We spoke to Garey about how his passion for finance, his love of reading and his Louisiana upbringing inspired his novel.    

Q: Writing a novel is quite an undertaking. Have you always been a writer? Did you write during your playing career?

Jason Garey: I was always a really big reader, especially growing up and obviously on the road. On the road, we have so much down time that I was always reading. I would read all different sorts of books. When I got injured in Houston, which was my last year in MLS, I had hip injury, so I was laid up. I couldn’t really do anything. I was immobilized for a month to six weeks. I couldn’t really go anywhere. I was so bored. I had all these ideas about economics, politics and books in my head. So, I thought, ‘why don’t I just try to write a book.’ And that is how it started. It took about six months. It wasn’t every good, but it was fun to go through the whole process. 

Q: It is somewhat unusual to see a  professional athlete write a fiction book, particularly amongst so many memoirs and other non-fiction endeavors. Why did you decide to write fiction?

Garey:  I don’t think that I was “big time” enough as a player for anyone to want to read a non-fiction book that I would write. And really, I didn’t write the book for other people or to be a famous author. It was more for me. It was for me to see if I could actually do this. Could I use my years of education to come up with the ideas, then write it and rewrite it? Could I figure out how to publish it? I had ever done anything like that. I did not know anyone that had. It was a change for me. It was more for personal gratification, than anything else.

Q: And you said the only took you six months to write?

Garey: Yeah. It took about six months. I think I started in September or October of 2011; and finished in April or May of 2012.

Q: The book is dedicated to your uncle. Can you tell us why?

Garey: My uncle actually passed away in January of 2011. This was right after I got traded to Houston. He had a heart attack. He was the guy that always took us out fishing in the marshes, in all those South Louisiana scenes. Growing up, the outdoors stuff was all my uncle and dad. So, I have been to all those places that I wrote about. I wish he was around to read it and see it, especially because he worked in the oil fields. 

Q: Did your family and friends read the book? What were their thoughts?

Garey: They all said that they enjoyed it. But, of course they are family and friends, so that is what they are suppose to say. It was a cool exercise. It was a cool project. My mother-in-law is a court reporter, so she has a ton of experience editing and proofreading. She helped a lot. Although they didn’t always agree with the content, they all helped. 

Wyatt is what I hope is a better version of me. You always hope your kids are a better version of you.

Q: The main character is named Wyatt. Does Wyatt represent a version of you that didn’t pursue a soccer career?

Garey: No. I actually wrote the character for my son. His name is Wyatt. We had just gotten pregnant with him when I was writing the book, so he wasn’t even born. But, that is the name that we were going to go with, so I wrote the character based on who I wanted him to be. I knew that this isn’t actually what his life would be like, but hope that he would be this kind of strong independent, self-reliant person. 

Wyatt is what I hope is a better version of me. You always hope your kids are a better version of you. 

Q: Wyatt in the book is described as a young boy that “ravages the house, taking things apart and putting them back together; after learning to walk at six months.” Was this based on you? Is this why your parents put you in soccer?

Garey: Yeah, exactly. I did start walking at six months. At least, that is what my parents say, but I don’t know if I believe them or not, especially after having three kids. I have always been very physical. They got me busy running around in soccer after I was too busy in the house. They actually started the soccer league in my town in south Louisiana. One was not in existence before that… But, it was probably to get some energy out of me to be honest. 

Q: Throughout the book, there are a lot of Cajun recipes. I take it that you have a passion for food as well? 

Garey: Oh yeah. I love to cook traditional Cajun jambalaya, gumbo and crawfish. I love Cajun cooking. Any of my teammates that have played with me, would have also partaken in some of that. I used to make jambalaya for team parties all the time.

Tony Chachere's

Q: How did you maintain your professional athlete diet while enjoying the Cajun cuisine?

Garey: Actually, my diet wasn’t very good. If I am being honest, it could have been better.  But, every now and then, you just need some Cajun cooking. You just need to feel like you are home. The nutrition stuff (in soccer) has obviously gotten better and more important. In the 2000s some people cared; although it wasn’t like it is today. There wasn’t so much importance on it. 

Sometimes, I wish I had paid a little more attention to it. But, you have to enjoy some cooking every now and then, especially after eating on the road as a player.  I needed a break from the food that all tasted the same. I needed something interesting, something with seasoning. Give me some Tony Chachere's on that, then we are good to go… I actually use to bring that with me on away trips. I would bring it to the team meals, but guys would steal it. 

Q: In the book, Wyatt played linebacker in football and shortstop in baseball- did you play other sports in high school?

Garey: I played other sports. I played soccer, and I ran track. I ran track for my freshman and sophomore years, when I was much smaller, skinnier and faster. But, I really enjoyed track, and I was pretty decent in it. I was a sub 420-miler. I was pretty good. But after sophomore year, the demands of travel soccer took over. There wasn’t much time to do anything else. 

Q: The book also features a lot of discussions about economics. Has that always been an interest?

Garey: I was a finance major in college (University of Maryland). When I was younger, I didn’t really know what I wanted to study, but I found business and finance. Since then, I have been constantly reading. I was big into economics, finance and investing. It just kind of went from there. I am pretty Libertarian in my political views, and the economics side comes through in the book. It was a cool thing to write. I am a fan of Atlas Shrugged, which the book’s title is a play on- the whole Geauxing Galt thing. I have always been interested in that stuff, so it bleeds into my professional life now. 

Q: In the book, when Wyatt becomes a millionaire, he isn’t flashy about his wealth. He lives on the family farm that he inherited from his parents, he drives a pickup truck and he buys a suit from the mall. Was this a message from Jason, the Financial Advisor, to be modest with your wealth?

Garey: Yeah, absolutely. Especially as it pertains to players. My most successful clients, the wealthiest clients that I have are not flashy about their wealth. I can generally tell if they are going to become a client by what kind of car they drive. If they drive a red Maserati, it is probably not going to work out. If they drive a sedan, SUV or pickup truck, it is probably going to work out. A lot of successful people do not flaunt their wealth. Most of the time, the people that are flaunting it may have high income, but they don’t have real wealth. They don’t save money. They spend it on their toys. That is the message in the book; you don’t have to be flashy about it. You just need to do the right things, save and invest to build for the future. 

As a general rule, athletes need to remember that, especially with the way that your income is structured. With your income being much higher when you are younger, you need to be setting that aside for the future. 

Q: Along with advice on living a modest lifestyle, you also provide some investment advice in the book. Do you stand by the advice now that you are a financial advisor?

Garey: I wrote this book before I was a financial advisor, so this was before I knew what I know now, which is a lot more about investing. But, the principles are the same; they haven’t really changed for me. Though the book is fictional, there are lessons about saving money and investing prudently. It is all intertwined in there. 

Q: In addition to the financial conversations, there is a considerable focus in the book on preserving the marshes. Is this important to you as a native of Louisiana?

Garey: The book brings together everything that I was involved in, read about or was passionate about. Growing up in South Louisiana, the rate of habitat loss from erosion is crazy. I have seen it first-hand over the course of my lifetime. The stats are that you lose 2-3 football fields of land every hour. It is just disappearing. It is a complicated issue, but that is what contributes to the big hurricanes. It affects real people. I have been passionate about it for a long time. I have read every book on it. I don’t have the answer, but I believe there are answers out there. 

Q: You have said that you’ve read a lot of books, mainly during the MLS season. What was it like reading these economics, nature and crime books on the team bus?

Garey: You get a wide range of taste on the bus. Some guys didn’t read at all, some read a lot. It was a lot of different things. We would have good discussions about we were reading, sometimes money, politics, sports, etc. 

Some guys weren’t into reading, but I was always a reader. I did pass along several books over time to other people to get them interested in certain topics. But, it depends on the locker room. It depends on what group of characters you’ve got. 

Q: You just mentioned that you would share books, what are some book recommendations?

Garey: As far as finance goes, “The Millionaire Next Door” (Thomas J. Stanley), is my favorite finance book of all time. It has the same message of “don’t be flashy about your wealth,” this is how people without high incomes are able to accumulate wealth and be financially independent. That is a book that I love to recommend. 

As I mentioned before, I like to recommend Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. It is a big book, but is one of the best books that I have ever read. And it ties into athletics too, because it addresses being self-sufficient, taking care of business and doing what you should be doing. 

I also love CIA books like the Jason Bourne novels. Those are great. There are a lot of spy books. They are easy reads, so I would read those on road trips. I spent way too much money at airport book stores during my playing days, but books are a great way to spend money. It helps to take your mind off of games. 

Q: Speaking of books, will you ever write another book?

Garey: Right now, life is too busy for me. But, I would like to write a book about the business that I do now. I would like to do a cross between what I did before and now. I feel like I could add to the book that I wrote before. It would still be a fiction book, but with more finance; maybe the main character will be a financial advisor. 

Q: Any advice for current players?

Writing the book was a really cool project to undertake while still playing. I think, for players, it is really valuable to have another interest; obviously soccer is number 1, but have a number 2. Coaches will disagree with me, but there is a benefit to having another interest. You have free time to explore those interests. I would encourage guys to do that, you never know what they will turn into.

Jason Garey currently works as a financial advisor. You can find out more about his work at or by following Jason on Twitter. “Geauxing Galt” is available on Amazon and through other booksellers.