This is a book of short stories about growing up on a small farm in post -WWII America. The stories are as true as I remember them, although a couple of folks have pointed out errors in time and voice. The 1950s are seen as an idyllic time in America, and that was true enough if you were young and white. I was both. . .and I thought I was miserable. But when I began to tell, and then write, the stories that would describe my misery, it seemed my young life was enjoyable, despite my best efforts to persuade myself it had been otherwise. The Old Man and Me comprises fifty-seven stories from my life, told in an enjoyable style and read in the inimitable voice of Mr. Karl Leuba.
The stories begin with vignettes from toddlerhood and cover all the ages from then to high school graduation (and a little bit beyond). The Old Man and Me taken as a whole is a story of love and joy and growing up in a time before television became an all evening affair. There is
the joy of discovering that the farm the family just bought comes with a pony, and the sorrow of the loss of a beloved pet. The stories include the best birthday a 12-year-old boy ever had (even if it was his last one for a dozen years), and a family Christmas the reader will never forget. There is the story of a car with murder on its mind, and of a township-wide pet show that was the talk of the school. In the days of the book, boys made swords and shields, and girls played with dolls and buggies. Boys and girls explored woods and fields, and work, whether chores or paid, was an escape from boredom. Hunting with the Old Man was a sport, a bonding time, and a necessary supplement to what we raised and grew. The stories describe the author's young life, but also stand in for thousands of father-son relationships that are never told.
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Great listen and not because it is free