A charming, but ultimately low-stakes, memoir of childhood and basketball.

Growing Up

Schoen recounts his farm boy childhood and college basketball career in this debut memoir.

Born in 1941, the oldest son in a family that would eventually include 13 children, Schoen grew up in rural western Ohio in a community of German Catholics who, despite having lived in the United States for more than a century, had only recently transitioned to speaking primarily in English. Modernization was slow to come to the family farm, which was not yet connected to the electrical grid when Schoen was born. As a boy, he learned to hitch workhorses to the plow and the hayfork. “When I was very young,” Schoen remembers, “the rare appearance of an airplane in the sky prompted a yell to others in the family not to miss the sight.” Horses were eventually replaced by machinery. Likewise, Schoen broke with the tradition of earlier generations of his family by graduating from high school and going on to the University of Dayton on a basketball scholarship. He played starting forward for the UD Flyers, who would eventually win the 1962 National Invitation Tournament championship. Throughout his memoir, Schoen illustrates the importance of work, play, education, and evolving with the times. The prose is cleareyed, and Schoen capably renders the particulars of his youth. The frequent photographs that accompany the text are redolent of rural life in postwar Midwestern America, and even readers with no connection to that time or place will be charmed by this account. The only problem is that Schoen’s life is not especially momentous. Even his basketball accomplishments read as rather unremarkable all these decades later. The book is a very pleasant document of farm life in the 1940s and 1950s, but it is difficult to imagine the memoir being of interest to many people who aren’t directly connected to either the Schoen family or Mercer County, Ohio.

A charming, but ultimately low-stakes, memoir of childhood and basketball.

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5191-9863-1

Page Count: 222

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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