A Father? A Brother? A Friend? Do you have a Rust Belt boy in your life?

Milt at campFather’s Day is coming and yes, I am using my father’s fishing-camp portrait to gain your attention, because I have a story for you. A San Francisco reader wrote that her spouse’s wheelchair-bound father had become a silent, angry old man. They sent him my book for Father’s Day last year, and, “your stories uncorked so many of his own. They talked for hours about his childhood in eastern Ohio, the first rich conversation they had had in many years… he shared memories and details about his early life that she had never known.”

Explaining the value of a gift, writer Lewis Hyde insists “The gift must always move” My dashing father, Milt, was a true gift — to his family, his community, and nearly everyone he met. With my book, I try to keep that gift (and many more I received) moving.

Giving a book, any book, is a profound way of passing countless gifts along. And I hope you will consider going to your local bookstore, or Amazon, and finding a gift a Rust Belt boy or any father might keep moving, maybe by sharing something that you had never known.

Thank you, Chris Shipley, for your generous letter. It, and all the letters readers have been kind enough to send are real gifts. I promise to move them along.



2 thoughts on “A Father? A Brother? A Friend? Do you have a Rust Belt boy in your life?

  1. Your book turned on a light for me helping me remember some of the dearest times and adventures of my younger days. Thanks Paul for a picture of your Ambridge life.

  2. Dashing indeed–and what a lovely testament to the power of stories, that yours unlocked your reader’s father’s memories of home.

    I left a message under your April and “madness” post; it’s still “awaiting moderation” so maybe you didn’t see it.

    In answer to your question about what readers would like to see on your site–I say, more like this post, today. And I’d love to get a discussion going about what it means to you to be from the Rust Belt and how that affects your writing, today.

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