Fetched-Up Yankee: A New England Boyhood Rememberedby Lewis Hill
When Lewis Hill first walked to school in 1930, it was to a one-room schoolhouse with no running water. "The nearest electricity," he writes "was about ten years away." He and his schoolmates had never seen a paved road, a fire truck, or a tractor. While Hitler was remaking the map of Europe,
A boy's adventures growing up in the 1930s in Northern New England.
When Lewis Hill first walked to school in 1930, it was to a one-room schoolhouse with no running water. "The nearest electricity," he writes "was about ten years away." He and his schoolmates had never seen a paved road, a fire truck, or a tractor. While Hitler was remaking the map of Europe, their tattered geography books were pre-World War I.
By focusing on his neighbors, his family, and the small details of everyday life, Hill shows how the twentieth century came thirty years late to the backwoods of his boyhood. This was a simpler time of square dances and school pageants, when women spent much of their free time "rubbering" (listening in) on the new-fangled party lines and men drove their first cars as if they were horses, stopping often to let them rest.
Democrat was a nasty word during those years of the New Deal. Children would happily divide into North and South or Cowboys and Indians for the sake of a good game of Prisoner's Base, but if anyone suggested Democrats versus Republicans, no one would volunteer to be a Democrat.
Hill transports us back to a faraway time and place, a world poor in such things as electricity but rich in family life and honored traditions. It was a world that would disappear forever with the coming of World War II and the incursion of modern life.
Hill's sly sense of humor and his keen ear for the cadences of Yankee speech make this book shine. You will savor every chapter of his funny, fascinating and wonderfully warm-hearted memoir.
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Lewis Hill grew up in rural Vermont in the late 1920s and 1930s and is now a thriving author in the 21st century. The Vermont that he knew as a boy, however, was close to the 19th century. Hill is a brilliant raconteur who presents a fascinating glimpse of a long-forgotten America. Must reading for anybody interested in social history of the US.