The Dark Ages of My Youth

(5 customer reviews)


When Ward Degler graduated from journalism school, his mother speculated he would become a world-famous war correspondent or, at the very least, editor-in-chief of an influential newspaper. He did neither. Instead, he became a columnist, giving him the opportunity to write about subjects that interested him while avoiding everything that didn’t.


5 reviews for The Dark Ages of My Youth

  1. S S Walker

    First, very easy to read. A collection of two-to-three-page stories that can be read five minutes here and ten minutes there, or, as I did…”Ok, that was good. Gotta read the next one, it’s only a couple pages.” (That lasted for at least 10 more pages every time.) But most importantly, I recommend “The Dark Ages of My Youth” to everyone. This book touches all generations and stirs every emotion. “The Dark Ages” are decades past that those of you who are now greatgrandparents will remember fondly – switchboard operators and party lines, Mother’s Oats with dishes in the box, filling coal bins in the fall – all things I, having been born in the 80’s, have never experienced. But upon reading about “The Dark Ages”, I feel closer to and more curious of my grandparents. This book makes me want to sit down and ask them to tell me stories, any stories, about anything, in their lives before me. But the book doesn’t stop at “The Dark Ages”, there are also “Times More Recent” – stories about hard work, inspiring people, crazy pets, loved ones lost, nerve-testing projects, and lessons learned. Sometimes you’ll giggle, sometimes you’ll cry, you’ll cringe and wince, and you’ll definitely laugh out loud, but with every story you will learn something you didn’t know, remember something you had forgotten, or be inspired to act. For a laugh: “Raccoons, Dogs, and Cats” or “We Once Had Fans” For a cry: “Sometimes Cancer Wins” For a cringe (and a giggle): “How to Move a Mountain” or “Barbara and Tim Conway”

  2. Joseph J Conover

    I loved this book, too. I took it with us on vacation and it was perfect since it is an easy and entertaining read. This book is a collection of columns written for a local newspaper over the span of several years. The first stories are from his childhood (“the dark ages of my youth”) during the second world war, up until a few years ago. These stories are so varied; from laugh out loud to poignant reflections. This book took a lifetime to write. It is full of memories of someone who embraced life and was not afraid of taking chances. Truth is certainly stranger than fiction. I think that is why I enjoyed the book: all these things really happened, and that makes it all the more funny, more touching and real.

  3. Angelina

    Your review *The other reviewers have said that they loved this book, but I’d like to say I AM loving it. I’m still not done because this is the kind of book that you can read a chapter each night, savoring the prose and enjoying the thoughts and feelings that are evoked. Mr. Degler has the uncanny ability to reach into the past and make it alive for us today. Although the dark ages of his youth occurred before my time, his writings bring a feeling of nostalgia for how things used to be compared to this complicated busy world we live in today. This is a great book to keep on your nightstand or bring on vacation.

  4. Jeanne Hodge Degler

    This book is 151 five-minute reads … selected stories from seventeen years of weekly newspaper columns under the title “I Was Just Thinking”. Some nostalgia, some historic, some personal interest, and many of them just for fun.

  5. Sue

    I must confess to being computer illerate…so much so that I did not know HOW to write a review. I finally, obviously, figured it out. I found this book to be charming, beautifully written and I could relate to so many, many of the things the author expressed…. memories of the era in which he grew up are memories that I share. It is a by gone time…sweet times, innocent times and times that I know will never come again. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who remembers this era or wants to know how delightfully simplistic life was then!

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