Sunday, September 13, 2015

Epitaph to "Nickel Eck" by Eric Yates

These stories are from the memories of a child in Europe during WWII.  The subtitle is:  Childhood Mischief in Wartime Birmingham.  I'm afraid much of the mischief he got into isn't that much different from the trouble my cousins got me in...

Lutena Yates, his wife, sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It is available both as an ebook and print, I read the print.

I found myself living in a simpler time with basic needs at the forefront.  Things were rationed, things were bartered and you did without what you didn't have.  This is the story of Eric and his brother John.  John was the oldest and got all the bright ideas.  When they didn't work out, he blamed it on Eric.  Unless Eric got to talk first and blamed it on John.  Most of these pranks weren't dangerous as such, but often innocent acts can cause accidents.

Their Dad was a bit mean and their mother worked, too.  They got sent away to stay with folks who were not in the war zone.  The two of them were hard to handle and got moved from home to home to home.  Most folks tried to have patience with them, but they were too inquisitive and full of energy to behave well for long.

They tried alcohol, set off homemade bombs, let all the water out of a lock, and even teased the drunks on the way home by dropping pennies on a brick and making them think they'd dropped their change.

As I was reading along, I remembered my cousins and I playing war; my cousins shaking the log so I fell off in the shallow creek; and, my cousins removing the hay at the bottom when I jumped off the stacked hay.  You put bored kids together and things happen.  That happens everywhere, even in Birmingham.

The stories in this book are true and it's a nice look back at past.  Mr. Yates was a good looking man and did some theater work later.  He survived.  And I did, too.

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