A long collection of short anecdotes about childhood on a Michigan farm.
Weddon (Close Calls on the Farm: Survival of the Funniest, 2013, etc.) continues his series, turning his attention to early childhood. The author brings a conversational tone to 50-plus short accounts of his youthful adventures. Taken together, the author offers a warm view of the American heartland that harkens back to a simpler, more rustic time. Two lifelong loves stand out: farm animals and firearms. The former may prove accessible to a wider audience. He recalls a horned owl with a broken wing that his family nursed back to health. The sections about Weddon’s history with guns are less endearing, but they nonetheless illustrate the rich American dedication to the Second Amendment. In the chapter “My Weapons from Birth to Age Ten,” Weddon fondly remembers, “My first gun was a toy double-barreled cork gun,” before explaining that “by age five, I had grown into cap guns. I had cap revolvers, semiautomatics, rifles, and a red plastic rocket with a metal nosepiece that slammed into a cap on impact.” Whether he’s discussing farm animals, weapons, or general barnyard mischief, Weddon writes with a likable, conversational voice. The vignettes are enjoyably light and sure to please fans of rural Americana. Considered in aggregate, however, they don’t coalesce into a single, overarching narrative. Weddon is a master of the morsel; he delivers bite-sized memories that satisfy a nostalgia for Michigan farm life. But these rarely build off one another, which occasionally gives the memoir a bloated feel. The book would achieve the same effect at half its length.
A disjointed but amusing collection of childhood memories.