This is a story of a first generation son of immigrant parents who came to America after the turn-of-the-century in the early 1900’s. It traces the life of a boy who never lost sight of who he was or what was expected of him. His formative years were spent during the great depression in an area that had little to offer but where much was expected even when the going proved difficult.
It is a story that disguises pathos as humor even though the humor is genuine. It portrays a life fraught with difficulty but where each difficulty is overcome by sheer force of willpower. The writer displays affection for his mother by portraying a person of such great strength and character that one must imagine a giant only to find a thin aging woman barely five feet tall.
Each segment of the story has its own unique appeal. One episode dealing with the writer’s description of life at a CCC camp is especially compelling. It deals with Polish/American boys interacting with the Catholic Church three thousand miles from home and is sure to bring a tear to the eye of even the hardest heart. Although the entire piece is essentially esoteric it has meaning and purpose to anyone who survived that era. . . .
Reviewed by Tom Topolski