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a novel in stories

By Dwight Harshbarger

From air raid drills in 1942 to the arrival of the Interstate highway in the mid-1950s, a boy, Freddy Lemley, shows us the American experience through the prism of his small West Virginia town. As he faces the struggles to come of age in the post-war years, so his town struggles to adapt to the changes that hover above it like UFO.

Economic growth and intrusion of new highways, racial injustice, religious revival, accidental death, suicide, the historic fight by coal miners for safe conditions and decent wages, all leave their marks on Freddie and the town. And through it all, he pursues the girl of his dreams. It is not till the Presidential primary of 1960, as John Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey the visit town, that Freddie, over a cup of coffee with Senator Humphrey, is able to recognize the loss of the way of life he knew and loved.