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A Cow for College and Other Stories of 1950s Farm Life

Meadowlark - October 2017
ISBN-13: 978-0996680141 
ISBN-10: 0996680144 
BISAC: Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs

James Kenyon, a born storyteller, writes an account of growing up in 1950s rural America that will make a reader laugh, smile, and occasionally shed a tear. As a young farm boy raised on the high plans of western Kansas, James shares memories of learning to care for cattle, ride (and fall from) the family horse, nurse a piglet back to health, and drive a tractor. Whether selling eggs from the back of his red wagon to the women in the nearest town of Bogue (population then approximately 300) or saving the family cow from death by bloat, readers will enjoy these glimpses of a farm boys life, a look back on simpler a time in America, post-depression, post-war.

"The author, an Iowa veterinarian for the past thirty-five years, grew up during the 1950s on a stock farm near Bogue in Graham County, Kansas, and offers here "all true stories from my life growing up in rural America" during a time he characterizes as "an age of innocence on the farm." Twenty-five delightful short essays follow--beginning with "A Cow for College" and including other titles such as "The Farm Dog," "Playing Baseball," and "Farm Boy's First Kiss." These stories will ring quite true and nostalgic to anyone who grew up in rural Kansas during the same era, but this delightful little volume should appeal to those of other generations as well."

Book Note: Volume 40, Number 4 - Winter 2017-18, Kansas History

Image link from the Kansas History Website

“. . . the perfect tonic for those craving a connection to old-time rural culture. Farm chores are told in such detail that the reader will feel like they are working alongside young Jimmy as he milks the cows by hand, cleans the chicken house, or weeds the garden with his puppy by his side. . . Reality will bring laughs and tender moments as you work your way through this portrayal of a life well lived.”
                        ~Marci Penner, Executive Director, Kansas Sampler Foundation, and author of the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers and 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook

“. . . this book will bring back many memories—some humorous and others so poignant they might still bring a tear or two.”

                        ~ Mary Lou Pennington, Retired English Teacher, Bogue, Kansas

“James Kenyon’s stories explore that promising decade between first memory and adolescence. Kenyon lived his preteen years on a farm in rural Kansas during a special time when preschool meant hours riding on his father’s knee while they plowed a field together, and life lessons began with raising a calf, herding and milking the cattle, and selling eggs door-to-door. This was a simpler time when a boy grew up with his dog and his wagon and played baseball with his pals and sometimes (not often) parted with a nickel for a bottle of ice-cold orange pop. Readers will enjoy spending a quiet afternoon with Kenyon and will carry with them a sense of peace and well-being long after the final story is told.”

                        ~Mike Graves, author of To Leave a Shadow, a 2015 Kansas Notable Book

“City kids, young and old, just might understand rural life better and develop more appreciation for what’s being lost in America now that one-family farms of a few hundred acres are disappearing and corporate-style agriculture is winning. Especially in western Kansas, villages like Bogue are vanishing, and inter-connected, genuine community with them.

                        ~Bob Hooper, former English teacher, Bogue High; former public librarian;                                  and columnist, The Hays Daily News

“James Kenyon has put together a wonderful collection of stories detailing American rural life during a much simpler time in our history. The tales are also timeless and allow us to relive special moments and milestones in life—the pangs of first love; having a pet so special it becomes part of the family; the first moment when a youth understands death is part of the cycle of life; learning that faith, family, and belief in oneself can guide us through even the roughest of times; and other life-lessons as well. Bravo to James Kenyon for these exquisite slices of life!”

                        ~ Jeffrey S. Copeland, author of Inman’s War: A Soldier’s Story of Life in a Colored  Battalion in WWII; Shell Games: The Life and Times of Pearl McGill, Industrial Spy and Pioneer Labor Activist; Ain’t No Harm to Kill the Devil: The Life and Times of John Fairfield, Abolitionist for Hire

August 30, 2019
Retired Veterinarian Pens Books - Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa

October 15, 2018
James Kenyon's Book Selected for Martin Kansas History Book Award

Martin Kansas History Book Award - Kansas Authors Club website

1 comment:

  1. Wow so wonderful Jimmy Kenyon is an author. Robbin and I always wonder about you. We are anxious to get your book. God bless you. We sure had fun on your farm and we loved Aunt Anita. What a precious woman.