I am writing in regards to the book that was written about on the front page of the Enterprise the week of June 14, 2017. It was a very good article about the author and the book. However, after reading the book, I have a few comments concerning its contents.
I grew up in Somerton, Ohio, the same as the author. He grew up in the late 30s and 40s. My childhood was during the early 50s and 60s. Much of what he said was the way life was in this small town. But some of what he said bothered me. During the time that I was a child, Somerton was as much a thriving small town as any around. We had four grocery stores, that gave credit to almost anyone who needed it. There was a small hardware store, and the post office.
People didn't move around as much as they seem to now, so we knew everyone in town and trusted everyone. Mr. Lucas spoke of a man that was coming home from drinking and kids did something and he wanted to fight with them. This didn't make the man seem very nice. While this story may be true, this same man used to work on television sets for almost everyone in town. I remember when he would come to fix ours. My brother and I would sit and watch and hoped he could fix it there and not take it with him. He would always say, "I'll try hard to fix it for you here". Most times he did, and while he worked he would tell the best stories. As far as I know everyone liked him and respected his work.
He (the author) spoke about Hud McGee, his brother, Hoss, and also their mother, H. McGee. They did live outside of Somerton, but were very much a part of the community and very well liked. H. had passed by the time I was growing up, but everyone always talked about how she was always taking care of someone who was ill and needed help.
One more thing that didn't exist when I was young was the statement in the book that the two church congregations in Somerton thought of each other as 'heathens'. We attended Bible School and church functions at the Methodist Church and they came to ours at the Church of Christ ...
That's the way it was when I was growing up.
Susan Steele Powell,