It is often said that life lessons are more often 'caught' then 'taught' and this collection of memoirs reminds parents that our children are always watching, often laughing, and occasionally learning. Written to honor his father Gerald in his eightieth year, this memoir highlights 55 (the 'double-nickle') childhood interactions between the author and his father written during the author's fifty-fifth year. Sometimes funny, often poignant, the reader will likely read and remember stories from their own childhood.
Most of the poetry in this book I did in a writing group at Folk Time, a program that helps people recover from mental illness. I write for fun but also as a kind of therapy. How it all happens I don't really know. But I deal with things that trouble, intrigue, confuse, and please most of us: Friends, family, parents, pets, love, loneliness, sex, school, and books. My favorite poets are James Joyce, W.H. Auden, Emily of course, and Ginsberg. Joyce wrote better novels, but I like his poems. Sylvia Plath I can't comprehend except in small doses.
As a child of the period immediately following World War II, the author takes you to his humble beginnings in a rural community in west central Ohio, where life was simple and worries were few. Along the way, the sights and sounds of his boyhood surroundings bubble from his fertile memory. You'll read about the people and events in a village where Main Street was not the main street, and where picture shows, ice cream parlors, and J.C. Penney were among weekend diversions. You'll also learn how the author came to have three sets of grandparents. A recounting of an event that occurred at the county fair gave rise to the book's main title, "A Nickel and a Gallon of Gas." You'll visit a century-old maple tree whose solid roots beside the author's boyhood home grounded it against the storms of time, just as his solid, small town upbringing helped him face the gales of life that were yet to come. If you're of a similar generation, you may pass signposts of your life during this journey into yesterday. At the same time, those accustomed to the modern era may soon learn that life was a little different in those "good old days."
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