About the Book
It was the best of times, it was the best of times. No, really, it was the best of times. The best time in the history of the world and the best place to be a kid —Northwest Detroit in the late fifties and sixties.
It was a wonderful childhood, a wonderful Irish-American childhood. The coffin ships and the “No Irish Need Apply” were vaporous memories only conjured once a year in early spring. Our man, Jerry Cavanaugh was in the mayoralty and JFK Himself was resting his brogans on the desk in the Oval Office. We were no longer up against it.
Sure, sure, there was that Cuban thing where some failed Boston Red Sox prospect
was conspiring with the Rooskies to vaporize my pasty Hibernian Hienie. Not to worry, we had atomic bomb drills at school. We would be safe. What did I care anyways, I was a kid living in Camelot. The best time, best place ever in the country on the planet and at anytime in the future.
Coming from a large family of 9, five sisters and three brothers —a mom and a dad are not counted but taken as a given. I was number 4 in the lineup, batting clean-up, second son, the spare heir. Being a “middle” I never knew you could change the radio station or turn up the thermostat, or have an opinion. I just adjusted and observed. It wasn’t a big budget childhood. No Disneyland vacations, no trips abroad, if you don’t include Canada. Most trips were stack the kids like cordwood in the station wagon and motor off to visit family in far flung places like Cereal City, Battle Creek, Michigan or maybe Howell, county seat of Livingston. Us kids would play and the adults would talk. And you know talk is cheap so our family asked for a double portion.