This honest coming of age story takes place along the Elk River and Clendenin in a rapidly changing world between 1913 and 1921. The railroad has arrived, oil and gas is booming, and World War I and the Spanish flu epidemic are ravaging the world—causing major changes in this once isolated farm country.
Shaun and his best friend Frankie have never ventured more than a few miles from their family farms. As they are maturing into men, they travel and work for the B&O, then the oil and gas industry. Their discovery of girls, Model T’s—and countless other inventions—while grappling with how to balance the old and new ways, is both honest and entertaining.
This rewarding story describes, among many other things, old-time music and banjo playing, what living on a farm was like, discovering girls, and courting. It shows the opportunities available to young men who were willing to expand their horizons, learn, and work hard.
Mack Samples has a gift of allowing the atmosphere and way people once lived in rural West Virginia to come alive; letting us feel we not only understand, but also want to be a part of the world he creates. He is an authority on describing the authentic life of the early 1900s in the West Virginia hills.