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Hannibal by the Sea: Boyhood Recollections of Growing Up in Santa Barbara, 1932 to 1945

Bisaccia, Andy

Published by Fithian Press, Santa Barbara, CA, 1998
ISBN 10: 1564742520 / ISBN 13: 9781564742520
/ Condition: Very Good / Soft cover
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About the Book

Bibliographic Details

Title: Hannibal by the Sea: Boyhood Recollections ...

Publisher: Fithian Press, Santa Barbara, CA

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition


This soft cover book has pictorial covers which have handling creases, scuffed edges and creased corner tips. The spine has a mid spine crease. The top page edges and both covers have shallow impressions and indentations. The pages are clean and unmarked. No edition stated. Date on title page is the copyright date. Bookseller Inventory # 002017

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Synopsis: Childhood before World War II was a simpler, kinder time, but it wasn't without its hilarious adventures, as this illustrated memoir shows. Here's what Tom and Huck would have done if they had lived on the California coast in the 1930s.

From the Publisher: A Boy's Life in 1930s Santa Barbara

Andy Bisaccia grew up in a world that seems so far away that it's almost a shock to realize it was located barely a mile from the offices of Fithian Press in Santa Barbara, where his boyhood memoir, Hannibal by the Sea has just been published. But the distance is not one of miles; it is one of time, and not so much time as you would think while reading of young Bisaccia's Sawyeresque adventures.

Whereas Tom and Huck had their Hannibal on the Mississippi, Bisaccia and his buddies had theirs on Santa Barbara's lower Westside. Bisaccia was born on a tabletop in a house on San Pascual Street in 1927, a time when he and his friends could spend their summers playing in still-wild Mission Creek, climb rugged hills and explore caves on the back of the Mesa, and participate in the waning years of the Westside's early Italo-American culture.

Bisaccia remembers many people and places whose names still ring in the memories of Santa Barbarans, such as Ed Borein in his El Paseo studio, Jack Dempsey jogging around Ojai behind a wheelbarrow full of rocks, and Diehl's fashionable grocery on State Street; he also recalls names only true locals still recall, like Tony Belmonte, and Everett Nicholin who sold popcorn at the foot of Stearns Wharf, and long-gone places such as H.T. Bennett's music store, where you could audition a record of "Mairzy Doats" in a private booth.

But Bisaccia's fondest recollections are of boyish things. He describes the old-time games he and his buddies played, and the toys they made themselves from sticks, paper, baling wire, and five-penny nails. "Kids had to be handy," he writes, "because they didn't have money." And, in the long run, "it was more satisfying to make something that really worked that was turned out by your own hands." But of course everyone needs a little pocket change, and Bisaccia tells how he earned his picking walnuts in Goleta, harvesting bait mussels by the sea, and preparing pelts from squirrels he hunted himself. He takes us on fishing trips to Stearns Wharf with his Dad, on scouting trips in the local mountains, to family Christmas celebrations, Italian-style, and invites us along for some Halloween high jinks. These and many other episodes are illustrated by a score of photos taken by the young Bisaccia and others, and by drawings by his daughter that appear throughout the text.

"It was all too good to just fade into oblivion," Bisaccia says "I wanted to preserve more obscure anecdotal material that wouldn't be covered by historical treatises that concentrate on facts and major events." What he means is that he wants us to know what it was like for him in that other world that is not really so far away, and to share with us the experience of growing up in your own little Hannibal by the sea.

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