Growing Up in the Last Small Town

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9781931672597: Growing Up in the Last Small Town

Growing Up in the Last Small Town: A West Virginia Memoir, a humorous and poignant account of the early life of retired Marshall University scholar Bob Barnett, a self-described bad student and undersized athlete coming of age in the 1950s. It is also the story of all of us who grew up in small-town America between 1940 and 1960. For Bob and the other children in unincorporated pottery town Newell, West Virginia, it was a time of simple pleasures: shedding winter coats on the first day of spring, playing baseball until dark, watching four-hour children s matinees on Saturday afternoon, and breaking plates in the town dump, their favorite playground. It was a time when getting the right date for the prom was more important than the election of the president. This story captures the rhythm of small-town life that we thought would never change. But change came quickly. Television became a staple of modern life in the 1950s offering Elvis, the evening news, and a vivid view of our changing world. School consolidations robbed towns of their souls, supermarkets eliminated the need for corner grocery stores, and the closings of mills and factories brought an end to small towns as we knew them. The generation whose story is told in this book grew up in the last small town in America.

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About the Author:

Bob Barnett is a lifelong resident of West Virginia. He taught sports history for thirty-five years at Marshall University, and has written more than 300 articles, for a wide variety of periodicals and journals, including Saturday Evening Post, Sports Heritage Magazine, West Virginia s Goldenseal Magazine, and the Dallas Cowboy News.

Review:

"a regional gem... lucidly weaves historical fact with poignant humorous personal narrative....This memoir is a first rate account...." Mary Lou Pratt

--West Virginia Libraries

"Readers who enjoy memoirs...have a gem waiting for them...The book's highest virtue, however, is Barnett's evocative prose. --Huntington Herald-Dispatch

"His happy and normal childhood is a part of the Appalachian experience that is often omitted from our literature....interesting content ... graceful and clever style."
--Charleston Gazette-Mail

"Features that set this well-written memoir apart include Barnett's succinct and readable account of Newell's history and the town's ties to the famous Homer Laughlin China Company... [and the book's]  detailed index." --Goldenseal Magazine

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Bob Barnett
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