FOR THE READER'S INFORMATION:
The author's publisher went out of business, and with that disappearance also went a hard copy of the SECOND EDITION of "In the Shadow of the Courthouse," an edition that includes scores of photographs of people and the period (1942 - 1947), which was during and immediately following World War Two. It is the story of a Mississippi River town neighborhood of young people coming of age in the shadow of the Clinton County Courthouse while the nation was coming of age in the shadow of the atomic bomb. Amazon's Kindle Library rescued this book and so this is an announcement of that rescue in paperback format.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE COURTHOUSE Memoir of the 1940s Written as a Novel Paperback – July 18, 2018 by Dr. James R R. Fisher Jr. (Author) -- $19.95, Amazon's Kindle Library
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“When you read In the Shadow of the Courthouse, you will experience Clinton, Iowa and the Midwest in a time far different from Clinton today. For Clintonians, it will remind them of many things long forgotten. For others, it will give them a sense of what it was like growing up when their parents and grandparents were children. For everyone, it will reacquaint them with their youth and how they dealt with growing up, the naivete and fumbling for an understanding of life. The author literally grew up in the shadow of the Clinton County Courthouse, and attended St. Patrick’s parochial school through the eighth grade. The book focuses on those W.W.II and postwar years (1942-1947) in Clinton as he deals with adolescence, parents, poverty, Catholicism, and friendships. The book promises to stimulate nostalgic recollections and to hold interests from the first to the last scintillating page.” - Ron McGauvran, Clinton, Iowa businessman.
Imagine coming of age in Clinton, Iowa in the middle of the United States and in the middle of the century and in the middle of this farm belt community of 33,000 snuggled against the muddy Mississippi River during World War II. It is in this working class climate that the author came of age In the Shadow of the Courthouse, while the nation struggled to come of age in the shadow of the atomic bomb.
There was no television, mega sports, big automobiles, or manicured lawns. There was radio, movies, high school sports, the Clinton Industrial Baseball League, where men too young or too old to go to war played for the fun of it. Clintonians had victory gardens, drove old jalopies, took the bus or rode their bicycles to work.
It was a time when the four faces of the magnificent Clinton County Courthouse clock chimed on the half hour and threw a metaphorical shadow over young people’s lives. This made certain they would not be late for meals made from victory garden staples.
The courthouse neighborhood had most stay-at-home mothers in two-parent families. Few parents managed to get beyond grammar school, nearly all worked in Clinton factories or on the railroad. Divorce was as foreign as an ancestral language.
It was time in hot weather that people slept with their families in Riverview Park, left windows open, doors unlocked, bicycles on the side of the house, and if they had automobiles, keys in the car, knowing neither neighbor nor stranger would disturb their possessions. In winters, schools never closed, even when snow banks were four feet high.
This is a narrative snapshot with core neighborhood activities of young people against the backdrop of the courthouse, St. Patrick School, Riverview Stadium, downtown Clinton and uptown Lyons, Bluff Boulevard, Hoot Owl Hollow, Mount St. Clare College, Mill Creak, Beaver Slough, Joyce Slough, the churches, schools and hospitals throughout the city, U.S. Army’s Schick General Hospital, which brought the war to this place, tending battlefield casualties, the USO, Chicago & North Western Railway, Clinton Foods, Dupont, and many other industrial work places, which were working hard toward the war effort as seen through the impressionistic eyes of the author as a boy from age eight to thirteen.
It was also a time when kids created their own play, as parents were too tired or too involved in the struggle to make a living to pay them much mind. Clinton youngsters would never know such Darwinian freedom or its concomitant brutality again. This is not a history of the times, nor is it a novel in the conventional sense, but rather the recollections of a time, place and circumstance through the author’s self-confessed imperfect vision.
"In the Shadow of the Courthouse" promises to awaken that sleeping child in the reader of every age.