This is a condensation of a journal that my
daughter asked me to keep concerning the lifestyle, the people, and my personal thoughts about the first twenty one years of my life. I grew up in a small West Texas farming community during the 1940’s and 1950’s. The names, places, and events are factual to the best of my knowledge. It is a depiction of growing up in two of the greatest decades in American history. I have interjected humor with fact for the enjoyment of the reader. This was a very special time, not only for me, but also for others my age who shared this experience. This book is Americana Texana at its best, and I hope that it will serve as a small window into these two great decades that we can share together.
"Flashback To The Golden Years 1940-1960" Hello! I'm Joan Reeves, and I've had ten books published in the United States and in most countries abroad, as well as thousands of articles in print and all over the Internet under my own name, various pseudonyms, and as a ghostwriter.I give you my credentials in order to explain that as a published author, my standard for books is probably much higher than the average reader. So when I recommend a book, I don't do it lightly. I read a lot, review the better books for my website and my blog Sling Words, http://slingwords.blogspot.com, and sometimes even give quotes to other authors to use on their soon-to-be-published novels.When I discovered that my old friend Ralph Neal Hanson had penned a memoir, I eagerly ordered it because he is, of course, a friend, and I wanted to support his effort. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much of the book since most people who self-publish their memoirs are earnest, but they usually don't possess... More > the narrative skills necessary to make a book readable or even interesting.I was pleasantly surprised to find Flashback To The Golden Years 1940-1960 not only highly readable with an easy conversational style but also immensely entertaining.Flavored with sweet nostalgia for a bygone era, the book immerses one in the golden years, that too-short period of American prosperity and growth after we defeated the evil Nazis and before the ignominious Vietnam war metastasized like a malignant cancer.Gone now are the days when kids played outdoors until dark without fear of being kidnapped by psychotic strangers, when Saturday at the movies meant being dropped off by your mom at the movie theater where you'd spend the afternoon watching the features over and over, when play dates didn't exist because every day not spent in school was a play date.Back then there were no soccer moms. No organized carpools to over-scheduled activities each day. No computers. No video games. No hundreds of television channels to view. No cell phones. No Internet. Just the sheer unadulterated joy of being a child in a small town. With imagination, the world was indeed your oyster if you were a kid.If you were lucky enough to be a child then.... If you wish you had been a child then.... If you liked the 1955 world created by Marty McFly in the original Back To The Future movie, then Flashback To The Golden Years 1940-1960 by Ralph Neal Hanson is for you.My friend Ralph wrote the book plus did all pre-publication work like proofreading and formatting. Since he's not a New York publishing professional, there are a few minor errors. I'm a tough critic, but I ignored the less-than-perfect spots in the sweet-natured memoir.By all means, get this book. Put it on your nightstand. Read some each night, and travel back in time to yesteryear where life was never hurried and frantic, but always serene. Never scary, but always safe. All that for the price of a book.Thanks, Ralph, for sharing that world with us.< Less
"The Story that ran in the Stamford Star" “It was my good fortune to be born in the small farming community of Stamford, Texas, June 15, 1939.” This is the way that Ralph Hanson begins his book titled, Flashback to The Golden Years 1940-1960. It just so happens that Hanson’s golden years took place in Stamford. Hanson got the idea for the book when his daughter gave him a journal. “She wanted me to sit down and tell what it was like to grow up in Stamford.” Hanson then set about the task of putting his thoughts on paper, and in the course of a year wrote the entire book in long hand. When he decided that others might enjoy his recollections, he bought a computer and set about the task of putting his words in type form and chronological order. Hanson says that the book was for the people of Stamford, the people who grew up here, and the ones that are too young to remember what it was like in the golden days. He also wanted to give something back to the community that he felt... More > had given so much to him. In the book Hanson tells everything from the events that were going on around the world, such as the Cold War and how it affected Stamford, to the coming of Rock and Roll and Elvis’s two trips to Stamford. He even features a chapter on the sights and sounds of Stamford in the 40’s and 50’s, and what you might see and hear if you were standing on a corner of the square. He tells of picking cotton when he was eight and working on the Swenson Ranch with Andy Swenson when he was in high school. In the chapter titled “Super Guys and Super Places,” Hanson tells about some of the great men in Stamford and the places that influenced him. Among the people and places are Dr. Ike Hudson, Swede Swenson, and the Super Dog. He also tells of the football team’s state championships and how the band was the “nucleus of his world.” Hanson moved away from Stamford to go into the army and college, but he never forgot his roots and the place where he spent what he considers his golden years. Ralph Hanson’s book can be purchased by going to http://www.lulu.com/content/431097 or it can be downloaded for free at the same address. For any Stamfordite, it is a must read.< Less
"Flashback to the Golden Years 1940-1960" Ralph's book is very well written an transported me back to those unforgettable years. Although I lived in the country and went to Lueders School, Stamford was the PLACE to be as a teenager. All the guys in Lueders took their dates to the Grand theater with a stop afterwards for a malt or milkshake. I worked one summer at Perry's Variety store and became acquainted with a lot of Stamford kids and their activities. My family transacted all their business, shopping, and recreation in Stamford. We also attended church in Stamford for many years. My grandmother and several aunts and uncles lived in Stamford so I am very familiar with many of the places and people that Ralph writes about. Ralph refers to so many landmarks in Stamford and the surrounding area that are no longer there except in our memories. The Safeway, Hassens Dry Goods, Nat's Cafe,the drive-in theater and many other familiar businesses are gone. The town square and the... More > post office building remain but people don't park their cars around the square on Saturday night and watch everyone walking past. I walked many a mile around the square with my friends as we hoped to run into some boy we liked! Yes, times have changed but Ralph takes us back and refreshes our memories of those years so long ago. Ralph writes in a very concise fashion with a subtle humor that brings us into the era where we understand the people and the simple but good life most lived. His book is a refreshing and informative walk down memory lane and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend it as enjoyable reading as well as a real lesson in history. It is easy to read...I read it in one sitting. He wrote about so many things I had forgotten, but I was so glad to be reminded again by the stories in his book. Wanda Lunn< Less
"Flashback To The Golden Years" What an incredible ride. My friend Ralph has written the definitive coming of age book for anyone who grew up in a small town during the 1940s & 1950s. Fast paced and beautifully written,the narrative will take you back to a time you have probably forgotten. I could smell the acrid smoke from the cotton gins as though it was yesterday. I cannot say enough for this work.
"Flashback to The Golden Years 1940-1960" I was simply amazed at the memoirs of my friend Ralph. I’m no book critic, but when he first told me that he’d written this book, I wasn’t prepared for such in-depth details. He’s done an excellent job of documenting his recollections and feelings from that era. He has brought-to-life the whole feeling of growing up back in that time of innocence. He did a great job of recording the feelings of a young person growing up in a small West Texas town. I, too, enjoyed growing up in a small town, but can’t remember having nearly as much fun as Ralph had in Stamford. I was astonished at all the American talent that flowed through there (even though they weren’t big names at the time). This book makes excellent reading for anyone wishing to experience a simpler life. If anyone has ever wished they could go back in time, this book will take you there, if even just for a short while. Ralph has done it … Congratulations to him for a book... More > well written!< Less
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