Growing up russell baker chapter 1
Growing Up by Russell BakerI found a paperback edition of this book, yellow with age. A note from my mother, age 97 and suffering from dementia fell out from between the pages. She said it was full of charm and humor and recommended it. She was right. Russell Baker had a hardscrabble childhood. His fathers people were Virginians; rural people. Education was not a family tradition, though Russells mother always insisted that he make something of himself. This man was a great storyteller. He makes ordinary life events seem so intriguing that you can hardly wait to turn the page and see what happens. Yes, he was charming and funny and self-effacing. Im sorry that I missed his New York Times columns but Im glad that I discovered this book, even at a late date.
The Russells Growing Up
Russell Baker's Growing Up
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As Russell gets nearer graduating, he worries he can't afford college and is unqualified for jobs. Since moving, he works at a grocery store managed by joking, cursing Mr. Simmons, who blackmails black customers to buy groceries so he'll cash their checks and peeps up women's skirt from a hole in the cellar ceiling. Simmons won't let Russell learn the cash register, choosing even a black employee above him. In Russell's third year of high school, his English teacher is Mr. First they study Macbeth, then informal essays. Russell is extremely bored, until he notes an essay topic: The Art of Eating Spaghetti.
Russell Baker's memoir describes his childhood in rural Virginia, his youth growing up in the Great Depression, and his young adulthood in Baltimore with his mother. Russell's reminiscences are centered on his relationship with his mother, a single parent through much of his youth, who eventually grows senile and unable to tell him about her own life growing up. In chapter one, Russell Baker describes his eighty-year-old mother, who is in a hospital after the last bad fall she will experience. His mother is senile, and she lives in her memories. She sometimes thinks Russell is still a little boy, sometimes that she is a still little girl. One morning, she phones Russell to ask if he's going to her funeral that day.