A Tongue in the Sink: The Harrowing Adventures of a Baby Boomer Childhood by Dennis Fried, Ph.D.
5 Stars: Boomer Appreciation
Being a Gen Xer, I grew up watching "My Three Sons" and "Happy Days" saturated in Baby Boomers growing up before the protest songs and the war in Vietnam. Perhaps Baby Boomers birthed the pop culture that my generation built upon with references in our mainstream culture. Observations from the past are dismissed as old thinking and growing up resilient or having today's kids' problem solve with their wits no longer is encouraged, no one tells the youth of now to "walk it off." While we can list all the wrongs of a generation especially "Baby Boomers," some memoirs can fill us with nostalgia and point out experiences we missed out on, "A Tongue in the Sink: The Harrowing Adventures of a Baby Boomer Childhood" by Dennis Fried, Ph.D. is witty, wonderfully written laid-back reading and not dense with a scarred childhood.
Dennis takes us back to his childhood in Catskill, N.Y. I learned a lot about life outside of my hood (NYC), small towns are the hidden gems of Americana. Dennis and his brother Randy had a stable home, and despite occasional and deserving corporal punishment, Dennis's childhood adventures are like a classic 50s family sitcom but with more realistic episodes, like discovering new curse words and repeating them to get a reaction from adults. How did kids earn more than a quarter for their allowance? Good old paper route? I was also lucky to have a paper route until I discovered collecting cans for a nickel. Playboys and funny grandparents and BB guns all part of a humorous author's childhood leaving you with a sense of satisfaction. Before "play dates" and parental involvement with the natural social order of kids, kids had to resolve who's their best friends and insulting in fun wasn't labeled as someone bullying other kid, there was a clear distinction.
As I stated before memoirs are my favorite genre, but so many times it comes with hard themes and a few laughs "A Tongue in the Sink: The Harrowing Adventures of a Baby Boomer Childhood" is the contrary. Not every reflective story needs to be all that serious to have an impact on the reader; sometimes we need a laugh and a find a moment in time when everything about growing up wasn't a cause for adults to upset.