Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Friday, September 30, 2016

The Delmont Street Gang

The Delmont Street Gang, Eric A Mann, CreateSpace, 2012

This is a look at life in the 1960's and 1970's in the town of Manchester Connecticut, a few miles east of Hartford, the state capital.

It was a time when young people played outside until dark, with no parental supervision. There was no such thing as supervised play dates. There were just three or four channels on TV, and no cell phones or video games, so there was no choice but to play outside. The local baseball field was a bare patch of ground next to the local elementary school. In an attempt to make it look more like a major league field, numbers were painted on the wall of the school showing the distance from home plate. School officials were not amused. Things got deadly serious when one of the group was hit by a car and killed instantly.

It was a time when it was nothing for kids to get on public transportation, spend the day in Hartford, and come home, all without parental supervision. A person could watch a movie, with popcorn and soda, at the State Theater on Main Street (now a fundamentalist church) for one dollar or less. Winter meant throwing snowballs at passing cars. Summer meant building forts with material pilfered from local construction sites. To the parents, corporal punishment was a normal part of raising a child. If a kid wanted to go somewhere in town, like to the local municipal swimming pool, they rode their bike or they walked. There was no parental taxi service.

Full disclosure: I was born and raised in Manchester, so I am automatically going to love this book. I grew up in the same time period, but in a different part of town. This book brought back a lot of memories. For anyone else, the stories in this book could take place in any town in America. It is well worth reading.

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