The Bonus Book of the Week is “A Long Way From Home, Growing Up In the American Heartland” by Tom Brokaw, published in 2002.
Born in February 1940 in Webster South Dakota, Brokaw wrote of his first 22 years. He described the 1940’s and 1950’s Missouri-River infrastructure projects, among others, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, whom his father assisted. Previously, all kinds of fish could be caught in the river.
Particularly noteworthy was the literal and figurative power the U.S. president possessed upon the 1953 completion of the flow-altering, water-corralling, energy-generating achievement: “President Eisenhower flipped a switch in the Oval Office to activate the eight turbines that, when powered by the focused force of the water, would transmit electricity to seven states.”
Additional curious information that represented the tenor of the times included the 1950’s South Dakota test of manhood handed down from father to son: pheasant hunting in wetlands, tall prairie grass, sorghum and cornfields.
Read the book to learn about many other cultural aspects of Brokaw’s childhood; a bygone era.