“A Boy’s Life in the Baby Boom” takes us back to a freedom in childhood unheard of today. As the first boomers turn 70, Smith among them, his tender and poignant story invites the reader onto his bicycle pedaling to Bullhead Pond for swimming with friends, to understand a boy trying to succeed at three sports, to witness first love in bloom. The memoir reminds us of both the travails and the ecstasy of being a kid, a teen-ager, maturing through failure and success.
“A Boy’s Life” is about shooting imaginary Germans in the hayloft of cousin Andy’s barn, not so long after our fathers and uncles came back from fighting real Germans in World War II. It is about playing football with no grownups around to spoil the fun. This is about breaking into Lincoln Avenue School to play basketball — and getting caught. This is about rafting and spearing mudpuppies in the Erie Canal and throwing snowballs at cars and watching “Mighty Mouse” and “Sky King” on Saturday mornings. This is about growing up in a world where kids roamed free all day long without an adult in sight. This is about Hopalong Cassidy to the Mickey Mouse Club; Davy Crockett to Rawhide; swimming in creeks to baling hay; Little League to the varsity; the Cold War to the Vietnam War; “Earth Angel” to “Yellow Submarine;” the assassinations of JFK and MLK to a man on the moon; from first girlfriend to first wife.
About the Author
James Herbert Smith was born in 1946, the first year of the post-war Baby Boom. He is a retired journalist and a winner of the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award for his columns on the First Amendment. He is the author of four books.
Find the Author Online Using the Following Links: