Jeremiah Wasn’t Just a Bullfrog: A Tale of Passion, Pursuit, Perseverance…and Polliwogs

The inspiration behind Tim Vassar’s new book, Jeremiah Wasn’t Just a Bullfrog: A Tale of Passion, Pursuit, Perseverance…and Polliwogs, began when his wife Mary asked about his experiences as a track and field athlete and coach.

“I was still talking after three hours,” says Vassar, a former teacher and track coach at Lake Central High School, “when my wife said you should put this in a book.”

So, he did, the words flowing but taking him in a different direction than he expected.

“I’d started writing—and writing–about track and field,” says Vassar, who participated in track and field when he attended Highland High School as well as college. “Then I realized the book wasn’t just about track and field, but also about the people who came into my life and my experiences beyond just sports.”

In all, says Vassar, now the Director of Student Teaching at Indiana University Northwest who also served as principal at Colonel John Wheeler Middle School in Crown Point, his writing was an eye opener.

“It connected the dots, showing me how people in my life were there and helped me along, students, colleagues, others,” he says, terming his writing as a “stream of faith.”

The book starts when Vassar was in fifth grade, with some segues back to kindergarten.

“It brings back a lot of memories not only for me but others who’ve read it,” says Vassar. “People tell me I remember that.”

Looking back, Vassar is thankful for the chance to draw all these memories together turning them into a coherent narrative, one that shows how his passion for track and working with students, his pursuit of his career and his commitment to helping others and his perseverance in achieving his passions will be inspirational to others.

As for the title of his book, it comes from his faith.

“I was in the shower, humming the song ‘Jeremiah was a Bullfrog,’ and I thought how the passage in Jeremiah 29:11, one of my favorites, applied to my life,” he says, noting that he sees now it was all part of a plan for his life.”

But no matter how you read the book—and Vassar says it’s also a love story chronicling his long relationship with his wife Mary—there’s something for most people including sports lovers, educators, those interested in life growing up in Northwest Indiana and as an inspirational guideline.

Vassar’s book is available at and other online booksellers.



Author: Jane Simon Ammeson

Jane Simon Ammeson is a freelance writer who specializes in travel, food and personalities. She writes frequently for The Times of Northwest Indiana, Mexico Connect, Long Weekends magazine, Edible Michiana, Lakeland Boating, Food Wine Travel magazine , Lee Publications, and the Herald Palladium where she writes a weekly food column. Her TouchScreenTravels include Indiana's Best. She also writes a weekly book review column for The Times of Northwest Indiana as well as food and travel, has authored 16 books including Lincoln Road Trip: The Back-road Guide to America's Favorite President, a winner of the Lowell Thomas Journalism Award in Travel Books, Third Place and also a Finalist for the 2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the Travel category. Her latest books are America's Femme Fatale: The Story of Serial Killer Belle Gunness and Classic Restaurants of Northwest Indiana. Her other books include How to Murder Your Wealthy Lovers and Get Away with It, A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana and Murders That Made Headlines: Crimes of Indiana, all historic true crime as well Hauntings of the Underground Railroad: Ghosts of the Midwest, Brown County, Indiana and East Chicago. Jane’s base camp is Stevensville, Michigan on the shores of Lake Michigan. Follow Jane at;;;, and on her travel and food blog and book blog:

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