REED CITY BOY - "A good, honest and straighforward portrait ... A touching story."
Reed City Boy
Meet Tim Bazzett, fifty years ago. This book is not so much a memoir as a rambling and luminous letter he is writing to his kids. In it he pays tribute and homage to his parents, to his teachers, and to Reed City, the town that shaped him. Mining his earliest memories, Bazzett tells of childhood scrapes, homemade toys, playing cowboys and “war” and even comes clean about an embarrassing feat of flatulence in a most unlikely place which became legend in family lore. He takes you along to Indian Lake, where he spent his summers swimming, and to Saturday matinees at the Reed Theater, where he learned homespun values from Gene and Roy. You’ll meet the nuns who educated him at St. Philip’s School, where he learned to dance and diagram. Early struggles with sex, sin and “Catholic guilt” are given their due, along with a short-lived religious vocation and a stint at the seminary. A “pseudo-farm kid,” Bazzett tells too of his trials with cows, chickens, and picking pickles; and of lessons in “animal psychology” learned from his grandfather. His high school years are marred by pimples, dorkiness, and pining for the “popular” girls, but brightened by a few close friends and some minor successes on the basketball court. He loves some of his teachers, clashes with others, and even terrorizes one, as he fumbles his way toward manhood.
Click on the Add to Cart link below to purchase signed copies directly from the author
(plus $3 shipping & handling)
Reed City Boy
But life at St. Philip’s School wasn’t all work and study. There was also recess and lunch time, probably the favorite subjects of many kids, then and now. We had a reasonably well-equipped playground, with swings, see-saws (we called them “teeter-totters”), and a merry-go-round, all situated in a gravel-covered play area. (I never have figured out why play areas were paved or gravel covered. Either surface can be pretty hard on little knees and elbows when you fell or got pushed down.) This equipment was used mostly by the youngest kids. By the time you reached fourth or fifth grade, there were more challenging things to do. The girls did a lot of rope-skipping and whatever else girls that age do. The boys were into playing marbles, or more physical games like Red Rover (aka “pom-pom-pullaway”) or “King of the Hill.”
"I really enjoyed Reed City Boy - for the humor, for its 'Midwesterness' and for the details ... So much of it was very familiar: the duties as chicken-barn clearner - the smell, the dust, the stupidity of those birds ... the barnyard humor, the sexual turmoil of an adolescent boy ... Bazzett's book brought it all back ..."
"Reed City Boy is the history of the sort of small-town American childhood that millions of us once knew, and which we only realized was so very precious when both our youth and the land that nourished it were gone."
"I made Reed City Boy my bedtime book ... I started reading and just kept reading ... After the first couple nights I started bringing it into the kitchen during the day so I could read while I was having lunch, and also at dinner ... [Flows] with an easy grace, a fine ear for the rhythm of the language ... It was the voice of a friend sitting across the table, telling his story to me, laughing at himself from time to time ... The easy intimacy between friends. That's the writing voice here. And it's perfect for this book. Perfect ... I now have [Bazzett's] Soldier Boy on my bedside table."
"I enjoyed Reed City Boy so much ... Some great looks at the past, done with such thoroughness and honesty, and topped with a large helping of humor."
"I think I had that same winter coat (pictured on p. 33). And those glasses look way too familiar! ... We share much the same background ... [Reed City Boy] is evocative of a lost world."
"For anyone who has ever thought about living in a small town - where most people, it's true, do know your name - Tim Bazzett has written the perfect book. For those who grew up in small towns, in places like Reed City (where I was born), this tale is a reminder of those lost spring afternoons when the redwing blackbirds called down by the river, and the smell of the creosote bridge was in the air, with your whole life ahead of you. This book is funny, poignant, and blazingly honest."
"A good, honest and straighforward portrait ... A touching story."
"The best autobiography I have read in years ... Paints a picture with a fine artist's brush ... Reed City Boy has universal appeal [and} could easily become a best-seller."
Dr. Maury Dean
"Bazzett manages to capture the magic and mystery as well as all the quirks and foibles of growing up in Small Town U.S.A. ... This is a fun book! Well worth the read."
"Bazzett shares his memories of growing up in Reed City, attending Catholic boarding school in Grand Rapids in the 1950s and working at the local A&P grocery store."
Lansing State Journal
"Devilishly funny! ... Bazzett tells all with a witty, sometimes hilarious style so often missing from memoir writing ... A very American boy's life [told in] whimsical essays written with a sense of joy and pride ... This is the kind of book I wish my dad or grandfather had written. I would know them better now."
Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli
"A wonderful, touching and honest memoir that will make many smile in empathy as they remember the tortured rites of adolescence ... A terriffic read. I can't wait for the sequel!"
Dr. Neil Alexander Patten
"Pays tribute to small town life."
"It ought to be required reading for every self-absorbed, video game-addicted, non-chore performing youngster ... Reed City Boy captures a certain bygone warmth ... It honors growing up in small-town America [and depicts] a life that might be defined as a melding of Opie, Beaver and Dobie."
"Delightful! ... Touching, funny, and infused with a love of family, friends, and, certainly, Reed City ... Refreshingly devoid of the usual anger and angst associated with memories of one's youth ... Write on!"
Dr. Thomas Gordon
"A real piece of American history ... Very well done: honest and frank and very Midwestern (and from me that's praise)."
"'Don't tell Mom, OK?' In Reed City Boy Tim Bazzett tells all, making his parents proud and leaving his readers anxiously awaiting his next book, which we certainly hope will not be his last."
Amy J. Van Ooyen
"As anyone who has gone to Ferris knows, just north of Paris is not the city of Rouen, but Reed City. In Reed City Boy, Bazzett pays tribute to the town that shaped him ... And as for his style of sledding? 'I was hospitalized for weeks and couldn't walk for months,' Bazzett confesses. An even worse fate than Jean Shepherd's famously ill-fated Christmas gift of a Red Ryder BB gun!"
"Thank you for Reed City Boy ... (a) delightful book. It is a fine addition to my library."
Hon. Jennifer M. Granholm
"Reading Reed City Boy was like stepping back in time to my own childhood. Bazzett's conversational style made the story so accessible that I closed the book feeling I'd just had a long enjoyable chat with an old friend ... An entertaining read."
|© Copyright 2010 Rathole Books|