Exceptionally entertaining and educational, Ain’t Life 'a Hoot (Volume 1) is the true-life story of a farm boy growing up in rural central west Louisiana. This book frames in-depth snapshots of a lifestyle that reflect humor, hard work, a love of nature, and the vital role of devoted family and friends in the shaping of a young life. The lifestyle shared was the epitome of frugal. Even while describing the oftentimes-cruel hardships of life at an earlier period in our history, the author’s depiction of the rural farm lifestyle still shines forth as a hopeful beacon from our past as a reflection of innocent moments and cherished childhood memories. In spite of austere conditions, Dr. Sibley’s memories are mostly happy ones. Many older adults will be able to relate to the tales in this volume. In the pages of this book, one can step back to a time that was simple but not easy. It was a time of innocence but with numerous challenges. If you grew up in rural America, the stories told here will most likely trigger your own memories. Some of the tales are hilarious, some are sad, and all are nostalgic. Some of the memories refer to adventures that were potentially dangerous or were downright dangerous, but all remain true to the recall of the author. Simplicity in the story telling is what makes this book truly remarkable. By using the vernacular and unique dialect of the times and area in which the author lived, he has managed to capture and share with the reader a glimpse of a vanished way of living. This way of living is set against the backdrop of the Depression, World War II, Korean War era, the Kennedy years of the 60’s and into the early 70’s. Early farm life and going to church most Sundays taught the author his work ethic, family values, and love of family and God. By sharing his roots, early relationships and experiences, struggles and triumphs, Dr. Sibley has made it possible for everyone to enjoy his story. Some of the anecdotes will make one want to laugh and some of them will leave you with a tear. Detailed, honest, and simple, this refreshing and informative read is a must-have book for anyone interested in finally understanding the day-to-day struggles of rural Middle America during the thick of the Great Depression and in the decades immediately following those tragic years.
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A.W. Sibley, D.D.S., born in 1933 and raised in rural central west Louisiana, graduated in 1951 from Fairview-Grant High School at the age of seventeen. Two years later A.W. enlisted in the Army during the Korean Conflict. Serving with the Chemical Corp as a Chemical Staff Specialist in Central America, it was while in the army that he forged strong ties to some of his lifelong friends. A.W. entered McNeese State University in 1955 courtesy of the G.I. Bill and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Entering Loyola University of New Orleans School of Dentistry in 1960, Dr. Sibley graduated with honors in the spring of 1964 and was selected for membership for the C. Victor Vignes Society. With two small children in tow, Dr. Sibley and his wife, the former Margaret Jacobs, decided to settle down in the small rural town of Merryville, Louisiana. Opening his Dental practice in 1964, Dr. Sibley spent the next 30 years as a general family dental practitioner. Presently retired from dentistry, Dr. A.W. Sibley and Margaret still live in Merryville, Louisiana. They have four grown children and five grandchildren. Traveling out West to see friends and enjoy the great outdoors is one of their favorite pastimes now. When not traveling, going fishing and growing a garden keep them very busy.
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