About the Book

Tall Tales from the Tower

Peek into the control towers and RADAR air traffic control facilities at airports around the world with true stories of recovering lost aircraft, emergencies, safely landing 17 fighters in severe thunderstorms, and air traffic control in a war zone.


Testimonial and Praise

If you’ve gotten this far in the book it’s obvious, you’re already hooked.  As a former “Tin Man”, I can assure you this tome is one great read as normal people just don’t want to put it down.  Actually, seeing the inside of Air Traffic Control with all its ups and downs of expeditiously moving tin while keeping the green blips safely apart is a real eye-opener.   You will especially enjoy Steve’s finely tuned sense of humor.  When he was asked, “Do you have proper separation?” he would respond with, ”Yes, they’re on separate frequencies!” In the ATC business, the really good ones have a sense of humor button always pushed at just the right moment.  You have been fairly warned; so, strap in, sit back, and enjoy the wacky world of ATC as masterly presented by one very astute controller; Steve Morris.

Bill Guenon

Served in the U.S. Air Force as a command pilot, senior air traffic controller and team leader for the USAF ATC analysis program. 


Tall Tales from the Tower: The REAL Hillbilly Elegy by Stephen G. Morris is a nonfiction book about the author’s life and Air Force service. In this book, we follow Stephen Morris throughout his life. From his childhood in West Virginia to his retirement in Georgia, he shares engaging and entertaining stories about his personal and professional life. Morris joined United States Air Force in 1960 and served in Portugal, Thailand, Italy, Germany, and United Kingdom. He retired from Air Force in 1984 and took a job as the Chief Controller of Otis Control Tower in Massachusetts. Because of his wife’s health issues in 2012, he retired and became her full-time caregiver.

I liked the linear storytelling of the author’s career. The personal stories show another side to an Air Force man. The pride he feels for his job, family, and his wife are unmistakable. It is praiseworthy that I, an amateur in terms of aircraft and military, was absorbed in this book. Furthermore, I liked the author’s sense of humor throughout the book. It balances out the serious tone of the book very well.

There are many stories included about his life abroad and the travels he went on with his wife. My favorite part of the entire book is the inclusion of photographs. There are numerous pictures with breathtaking landscapes and imposing aircraft that bring this book to life. Nevertheless, for such a substantial career, this book is very concise.

I would recommend this book to all readers interested in military stories. Furthermore, American readers will find this book interesting as it deals with former US Air Force members. Yet, the author doesn’t shy away from opinions about politics and political leaders. One thing is for sure, you can disagree with the author’s point of view, but you will appreciate his service. There is no explicit content, just some minor profanities, which makes this book suitable for all age groups.

I am glad to report that the author implemented the revision I suggested in the first review. When I read the previous version of the book, it had numerous grammatical errors. This time around, I only noticed two minor errors. What I found interesting is that I enjoyed this book much more after reading it for the second time. There is nothing I disliked about this book.


Antonela Maria

04 Feb 2021, 16:47


Just finished Tall Tales from the Tower. Well done, Steve! You deliver great stories, laughs, and interesting history. Very enjoyable read! Love the pics!

James Godwin

Steve Morris is a master story teller. Enjoyed this book immensely. Actual behind the scenes stories always told with a humorous twist made me appreciate the countless Americans who have faithfully served our country.

Bob Dickhaus (On Dorrance Publishing and Amazon)

Hi Steve! My copy of your recently published book is proudly on my coffee table right now…what a great read!!

Tom Blackburn

Just a word of advice, don’t start reading it unless you have enough time to complete it all in one sitting. Once you start, you won’t be able to put it down!!

Jim Hirsch

Steve serves today as an example of a citizen who loves his country, family, and freedom. This book should be a “must read.”

Ed Robison

I thoroughly enjoyed your book. It gave me great insight into the life of an air traffic controller, the enlisted military, the life of an intelligent hardworking successful entrepreneur, and some of the politics of the Vietnam War. Thank you very much for sharing your life story and world travels with me.

Roy King

Steve Morris is a master story teller and a true American hero. Enjoyed this book from the first page to the last and highly recommended it especially to those who faithfully served our country in the 70s and 80s.

Unknown (On Google Books)

Here is a story for you. This is how it’s masterfully done. By far the best Chief Controller I have worked with/for. And the sharpest NCO I know. We had very complex Airspace issues at Aviano AB, Italy, and problems were fixed with ease.
He believed in his people. He and his wonderful family opened their home for the single folks for meals fit for Royalty. This book is a must read about a great man from West Virginia

Dave Nance