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I like to live in a little town where the trees meet over the street
You can wave your hand and say 'hello' to everyone you meet....
Denny Ridgway grew up in a family that was well-known throughout the community. His parents, Bill and Midge, were respected and contributing members of church and volunteer organizations. All four of their sons were good students and good athletes. In a style that is warm and friendly, funny, and touching, Denny invites us in to get to know his family, his friends and neighbors and his town. As we travel along with him on his paper route and meet the residents through a series of individual vignettes, he paints a tone perfect verbal portrait of what it was like for him to grow up in a small town in the mid-twentieth century and we are moved to read on. Throughout it all he captures the innocence of a four-year old, the rebelliousness of a twelve year old and the fearless invincibility of a teenager.
At the outset I must admit that my view about this book of Denny Ridgway’s memoirs is colored by my own recollection of heartwarming memories. I, too, grew up in the little town of Carroll, Ohio. I, too, remember going sledding in the snow, eating popcorn with my family around a fire on cold winter evenings, playing safely outside until dark on warm summer nights. And, while I didn’t play basketball, I was a cheerleader for our teams. Though I didn’t swim in a swimming hole, I waded in nearby creeks, gathering stones for my collection. And although I didn’t bale hay, I did babysit for neighbors, picked strawberries and cleaned house to earn my own money.
It is not necessary that you grew up in a little town for you to enjoy this book. Denny’s vivid recall of his growing-up years will engage your memory and take you back to your own childhood. Today while cell phones, televisions and computers blare at you 24/7, you may pause and wish for the days when life was simpler, and when the news of each day began – or ended – with the thump on your doorstep that told you the newsboy had “passed the papers.”
Carolyn Fell McCoy