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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Stories from the Olden Days: A Humorous Look at Growing Up in the 1950's & '60s is a collection of short non-fiction vignettes written by William P. Robertson. These stories work together as a memoir of the author's earliest years through to his graduation from high school. Robertson grew up in a small and closely knit town in Pennsylvania. His father chose the small house where they lived because of the land it was built on. They had woods behind it as well as a stream. Robertson had a full and energetic life in those woods and other places where he and the kids in his neighborhood would get together and play. There was a pond where they'd hunt for frogs and salamanders in the summer and skate in the winter. Robertson was just at the age to appreciate music when The Beatles' music reached the United States. This was at about the same time as he was going to high school, and every week there were dances where garage bands played.
William P. Robertson's non-fiction humorous memoir collection, Stories from the Olden Days: A Humorous Look at Growing Up in the 1950's & '60s, is marvelous reading that makes you laugh and remember what it's like to be a goofy kid again. Shining throughout the stories is the author's affection for his sister and parents, and the friends and relatives who were part of his life as he was growing up. I found Stories from the Olden Days hard to put down. The photographs of the author's father hamming it up are priceless, especially the one where he's attacking the Thanksgiving turkey with a Bowie knife. But equally memorable are those stories about his father taking him out on his first hunting trip and the two of them melting lead, casting and then painting the lead soldiers they would later wage battles with. This is a warm and big-hearted book that shares so much of the author's life, and it makes you smile as he recounts the good, the outrageous and even the truly awful things that happened back then. Stories from the Olden Days: A Humorous Look at Growing Up in the 1950's & '60s is most highly recommended.