WAR BABIES IN A SMALL TOWN
About the Book
What is a War Baby? War Babies, squeezed between the children of the Great Depression and the Boomers, have been described as part of the “Silent Generation” by Wikipedia. Richard Pell’s book on War Babies illuminated only celebrity names from those years while saying the war babies’ perspective on America was “darker and more pessimistic than either their predecessors or their baby boom successors.” While these and other generations have been, and will be written about, very little was recorded of the everyday life of War Babies to support that gloomy theory. War Babies lived in a time unknown to any generation before or after. Their America was unique, guided by parents who knew the importance of a nuclear family, and actually used their villages to raise their own and each others’ children. It was a time when the family who prayed together stayed together, and “for better or worse” was a sacred vow. For the most part, War Babies were taught such things as respect, manners, patriotism, and penmanship. They went to church with their families, took music lessons, and joined the 4H, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, They took pride in accomplishments, and didn’t need tattoos or purple hair to stand out in a crowd. They earned their accolades. War Babies lived such lives as small business owners, cooks and construction workers, salesmen and teachers, and much more. No matter the job, each War Baby honed the skills that complimented his profession. One in particular, started his development with a curiosity that exposed everyone he met as his straight man. His stories reflect the path that led him to be the person he is today.
About the Author
Fred Hammer is a septuagenarian both blessed and saddened by a prodigious memory. He is blessed with a clarity which takes him back to fairy tales and tooth fairies that were alive and real, a time when the kind hand of his mother tied his shoes when he could not; but saddened by the memory of cruel bullies whose hearts were black. The author was raised in a little Pennsylvania town which never held more than 600 people. He is a 1961 graduate of the Bald Eagle Area Schools, and a 1965 graduate of Lock Haven State College. He was an English teacher for 33 years in the Bellefonte School system, where he was a basketball coach, a department chairman, and the AV Director. He retired in 1998, and after enjoying a decade roaming the country in a motorhome with his wife Nina, settled in Bonita Springs, Florida, where Nina became a champion horseshoe pitcher, and Fred became involved in volunteer work when he wasn’t reading, writing, or just telling stories to his friends. Memories build on memories as the telling of one tale reminds the author of yet another character, the kid who rode the Ferris wheel holding only by his hands as his buddies pulled the wheel around, or the grandmother saddened by the fate of her lost pet. Characters old and young become real as they are rescued from a cliff, arrested by the police, or chased through a cornfield by a shotgun wielding farmer. All of the above were experienced by the author in his formative years. Whether addressing a crowd of hundreds, or a single listener, he delights in creating modern shaggy dog tales, and observing the reactions when the proverbial “lightbulb” illuminates above the heads of his listeners. He enjoyed writing these stories, and hopes that you, his readers, enjoy them too.