Ever since I pickup up a biography of Benjamin Franklin as a young girl, I have been an avid fan of biography, autobiography, and memoir writings. There is something so appealing about peeking into a life that is so different from the one that you are living, whether it is removed by time, location, or culture. It is both entertaining and illuminating to learn about other people’s lives and to appreciate the differences and similarities. Because of this I have thoroughly enjoyed reading “Sketches of a Small Town…circa 1940: A Memoir” by Clifton K. Meador, MD.
Like Dr. Meador, I grew up in a small town. Mine was in Southern Maine in the 1970s, and Dr. Meador’s was Greenville, Alabama in the 1930s and 1940s, but even so, I recognized so many of the hallmarks of small town life that we seem to have lost today. Dr. Meador’s stories kept me laughing and shaking my head at the same time. His writing is extremely engaging, and each chapter tells a different hilarious or enlightening story.
Dr. Meador is a skillful storyteller, and he has that rare gift of being able to tell a 75-year old story from the point of view of a young boy rather than a man who is several decades removed. He recalls the innocence and naïveté with which he viewed friends, neighbors and other townsfolk. He shares the foibles of those who live in a small town, and does so beautifully, with a tenderness and protectiveness that delights in their eccentricities without disrespecting or mocking the memories. His witty tone opens up the town for all of his readers to enjoy the characters and the memories and to appreciate that he, as an adult, recognizes all that he did not see or understand as a child.
“Sketches of a Small Town…circa 1940: A Memoir” by Clifton K. Meador, MD is a wonderful time capsule for anyone who longs for a time when you knew everyone in town, for better or for worse, and you knew that you could count on your neighbors. Pick up a copy for yourself, and an extra copy or two as gifts for older relatives and friends.