Up from Adams Street
by Larry Crane
Maine Authors Publishing

"I wished I could be more definitive in my plans. She wished she had been more definitive in hers. It felt as if we were balanced on the edge of a knife and could fall off on either side."

Growing up in Illinois just after World War II, Crane recounts his childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Born into a blue-collar family with limited means, he is constantly cognizant of disparities between his living conditions and those of many of his contemporaries. He realizes that participating in sports is a potential entrée into worlds that seem beyond his. Plus, Larry loves the games. He plays baseball, football, and basketball. He caddies at golf courses. As he grows physically, he senses the need to expand mentally and philosophically too. A scholarship helps, then a surprise appointment to West Point follows. Each step up the ladder of opportunity, however, is taken with a self-inhibitor in place—an emotional regulator that keeps his innermost feelings trapped inside him.

Crane tells his story with self-effacing, conversational prose. Reviewing his younger years at a more advanced age, he’s able to include nuanced feelings about relationships that bring them into sharper focus, perhaps none more so than the complicated interactions with his father. Where the boy-of-then was often witness to harsh and deplorable behavior, the man-of-now is able to explore how disappointing self-appraisals, regret, and the loss of dreams may have been at the core of such conduct.

The specifics of the reader's life may be totally different than that of Crane’s, but the universal emotions of love, anxiety, and compassion, which fill this chronicle, make the author's remembrances easily shareable and relatable. In summary, Crane’s narrative is a testament to overcoming obstacles and how inner strength plus the love and support of family and friends helped him along the way. That’s a story which is always worth telling.

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