Hugh Hawkins was seven years old when his father's job with the Rock Island Railroad forced his family to relocate to far western Kansas. Before he turned twelve the family had lived in three "Rock Island towns": Herington, Kansas; Goodland, Kansas; and finally El Reno, Oklahoma. Such was the life of a railwayman's son during the Great Depression. In this warm and thoughtful memoir, Hawkins paints a portrait of a middle-class family's traditions and values in the heartland of the 1930s and 1940s.
"I can't remember the last time I used the words 'lovely' and 'marvelous' to describe a book, but surely they apply to Hugh Hawkins's evocation of a vanished America, a work that is as sure-footed as it is touching." --Madeleine Blais, author of Uphill Walkers: Portrait of a Family
"Hawkins combines the skills of an accomplished historian with the sensitivities of a novelist to construct an engaging and poignant memoir of a Midwestern childhood in the 1930s and the first half of the 1940s. Through his memories and reflections, the author provides an intimate view of his family and a fresh perspective on the powerful forces that shaped the lives of Americans during these tumultuous times." --N. Ray Hiner, University of Kansas
"Charming, entertaining, and well-written" --Reference & Research Book News
"A delightful book, made especially good because of the historical accounting of the era" --Mexia Daily News
Professor emeritus of history and American studies at Amherst College, Hugh Hawkins is the author of numerous works including Pioneer: A History of the Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Plainfield, Massachusetts.