Thursday, January 2, 2014

One Man in His Time book review

One Man in His Time by William C. Prentiss is pretty much a timeline of the author’s life from his earliest days when growing up in Sterling, Illinois, born in 1932, to the recent present.
Prentiss says in his Forward, “I have only my own memory to rely upon, although it is supported by a wealth of letters and other documents I have kept over the years.”
I would say he has a very good memory and although he is about ten years my senior, I can vouch for the accuracy of some of the writer’s memory.
He writes about catching nightcrawlers to go fishing, which I clearly remember doing.
I smiled when he talked about needing to strip, take a shower and be inspected before going swimming and I can do him one better by remembering or adding that we needed to bend over and spread our cheeks before entering the pool to go swimming.
Anyone under the age of 50 might be shocked by his recollections of discipline in high school and they might be grateful for having grown up when things that were acceptable and normal in the past became prohibited and even illegal. Some of the initiations he went through were barbaric.
I found this a very interesting read. He is a good writer, a good and caring person who has been blessed with a good education and a very supportive wife.
Prentiss takes you through his early school days, college, time in the Air Force ROTC, college professor and time spent helping young boys avoid or transition out of the criminal justice system.
His time spent helping troubled youth resulted in him being the recipient of President Reagan’s Volunteer Action Award and the 1972 presidential campaign of George McGovern was an interesting read of politics at the grassroots level.
Summary: The author’s attention to his life’s details might cause you to want to skip ahead but don’t. He is a good writer and your perseverance through those details will provide you with a deeper understanding of the not too distant past. Reading his book might cause you to wish you had a relative like him to tell you what things were like, things not mentioned in history books.
In sum, I really liked his story and can highly recommend it to all from teenage on up.
About the author

William C. Prentiss spent ten years as Dean of the Florida Military School and later taught Adolescent Psychology and Juvenile Delinquency at the college level. In 1976, he founded an outstanding program for youths referred by the Juvenile Court in Orange County, Florida. This program, called Operation Comeback, was s selected by President Reagan in 1988 to receive his converted Volunteer Action Award which was presented at a White House Luncheon. Dr. Prentiss and his wife, Sallie, raised their three children and also opened their home at various times to seven troubled adolescent boys who lived with them for periods of time from four months to three years.

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