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Memoirs always interest me because it gives you an opportunity to see things through another person's eyes, to see events from their perspective. It is fascinating to read someone else's thoughts about an event or a period of time. Seeing things from another point of view, especially from someone that personally experienced it, can afford you the opportunity to expand your understanding and appreciation.
I was not born in Alabama, but have lived here for many years now. I received Sketches Of A Small Town to review. I was interested in reading Dr. Meador's book because Alabama has a rich history and he was someone that experienced a small piece of it firsthand.
While I found it to be lacking in deep details, perhaps because of his youth at the time, it is a fascinating journey through Dr. Meador's childhood and early adolescence. It is at times charming, sad, nostalgic, funny and thoughtful. In a town full of very different people, a picture is painted of those people caring for their neighbors and living together in relative calm.
There is a hint of the racial tension that existed. It isn't the explosive violent forces so often associated with the era, but it is apparent that it was there. I wonder how Clifton Meador's life might have been different if he had been allowed to maintain his friendship with his black friend...
As the title says, this book offers sketches of what life was like for a boy growing up in a small Alabama town. Sketches is an apt words because owing to his youth, Clifton saw things through his child eyes. Those eyes most likely weren't privilege to more in depth complexities that likely surrounded him. All the same, the sketches are wonderful glimpses into a time a lot of us never knew and may not understand. His memories are beautiful reminders of days gone by, of people knowing their differences and living in relative calm despite them. He doesn't gloss the memories over and make them "the good old days" and isn't apologetic for the way things were, but instead lets us see the town for what it was and the people for who they were. While the people and the town weren't perfect, Dr. Meador paints a picture that makes me wish I could step back in time and stroll though Greenville and meet these folks who were part of the fabric that made up our Country. You find yourself caring for these people and wondering what happened them.
Sketches of a Small Town is a generous look back in history to a time when things were perhaps simpler only because technology as we know it was not even a dream yet. Simpler because everything wasn't supersized and time moved slower somehow. Despite the simple appearance, Dr. Meador also shows the complexities of living in a small town in a bygone era. It's a wonderful first hand account of the history of a small southern town.
Disclosure: I received the item mentioned above for the purpose of review. The opinions expressed are 100% my own based on my usage of the product. You opinion and experience may differ. This post may contain affiliate links which simply means if you click my links and decide to purchase, I may make a small commission. This is at no cost to you.