An inspriational look at a life some
of us have never experienced
The Old Man and Me by RC (Chuck) Larlham is a
memoir of growing up on a farm in Ohio during the post-World
War II years. But it's more than that. It's an amazing
tribute to the author's father and to a lifestyle that most
of us have never experienced. I found myself becoming more
and more immersed in the life of a rural farm and the
relationships with his father, mother, and two siblings.
Larlham's effortless prose brings you into his family, into
his adventures, and into the stall of the little blind pony
(including the mucking).
As the title suggests the focus is on Chuck's
ever-complicated relationship with his father. The Old Man
is sometimes gruff, sometimes thoughtful, but it's clear he
was always admired by Larlham and his younger brother.
Larlham reveals his own childhood insecurities, like
competing in his first 4-H competitions with his "Black
Leghorns," followed the next year by capons (look it up). He
reveals his futile attempt to learn piano, a losing cause
that somehow ended with a different kind of prize, and his
equally futile bout at boxing. We learn about his "best
birthday ever" (which was also his last birthday ever) and
his first experiences with a new car (okay, series of old
cars). Holidays, horses, and hunting all get treated to
Larlham's sometimes whimsical, and always readable,
A sense of how this book will affect you can be derived from
the fact that about two-thirds of the way through I was
inspired to write down some memories of my own childhood, my
own father, and my own nostalgia. Each chapter of Larlham's
book is a vignette of life, and each chapter will inspire
the reader to appreciate life itself. I read the last third
of the book in one sitting; I couldn't put it down.
The Old Man and Me is the first of what will be a series of
memoirs covering Larlham's life, a life that moves from the
farm into the classroom as he becomes what he terms "an
educated hick." The book makes me want to hear more. I look
forward to the next one.
Larlham notes that "it's time to leave a legacy" to his
children and grandchildren. The Old Man and Me is a fine
~David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of