This TVA Archives photo sure brings back memories of my childhood days!
Fortunately, I was able to retire early. After retiring as a Principal Research Engineer from the Georgia Tech Research Institute in the mid-1990’s, for a time, I remained involved with the Electromagnetic Compatibility Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and I continued doing consulting work in grounding and shielding. In addition, I avidly pursued growing camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas, both evergreens and deciduous. As I approached the traditional retirement age, I reluctantly concluded that we weren’t going to be Grandparents, for our daughters were actively pursuing their professional careers. Then, on the same day, we learned that we were going to be grandparents three times over.
Indeed, subsequently, we were blessed with the arrival of three of the finest grandsons ever. (I’ve learned that your own grandchildren are much finer than anyone else’s!) Within their first year, it dawned on me that their growing up experience was going to be more different from mine than mine was from the frontier. So I began an effort to record what it was like growing up in the 1940’s on a subsistence farm without indoor plumbing, central heat or air conditioning, or the other modern conveniences that we now take for granted.
I was born in a log house near the end of the Great Depression before the start of World War II. In the year of my birth, the unemployment rate was 19%, the minimum wage was 25 cents per hour, gas was 10 cents per gallon and a average price of a new house was under $4,000. We did not have electricity until I was 10 years old, there was no telephone, and we heated and cooked with wood. I walked to a one-teacher country school.
The result of my endeavor was “Crossing McDaniel Branch – A Personal Journey from a 19th Century Lifestyle to the Space Age” (hereinafter referred to as My Story). This writing effort took a lot longer than I expected, but I eventually did finish and applied for a copyright, which was granted. It has been published by Dorrance Publishing Company www.dorrancepublishing.com and is available from Dorrance, and through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
On July 3, I was interviewed via Skype by Ric Bratton of “This Week in America.” This interview can be viewed in its entirety on You Tube, iTunes, Spotify, show audio and Podomatic. It is also posted on Google Play and Facebook. To view the interview, go to either of the following web sites: