"Full of humor and revealing confessions, Champlin's entertaining book proves you can go home again. One of the best reminiscences to appear recently."—Library Journal
"Much of what we read about growing up in American small towns tells us that life there is stultifying and well worth escaping. Yet Champlin begs to differ: . . . Critical intelligence, not nostalgia, drives these essays, and even expected local color—Saturday nights, the neighborhood church, the gas station hangout—is handled freshly. . . . Champlin is generous and realistic in his portrait."—Publishers Weekly
For Charles Champlin, formerly a writer-correspondent for Time and Life magazines and since 1965 an editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times, his “other time” was the nineteen-thirties. His “other place,” where he was born and spent his boyhood and early adolescence, was the lovely Finger Lakes village of Hammondsport in western New York State.
Its population was, and is, 1,200, and it was a fine place to grow up: Keuka Lake to swim in, band concerts in the park on Saturday nights, wagonloads of grapes rumbling through town to the wineries, which continue to make fine champagnes and wines. Glenn Hammond Curtiss manufactured airplanes there in the early years of the century, and in the thirties you could watch planes practice looping the loop on summer afternoons.
Over the years, Champlin’s reminiscences about Hammondsport in his newspaper columns have evoked warm response. Readers who grew up thousands of miles from Steuben County, New York, say they find echoes of their own times and their own places in his tales of home.
Charles Champlin is a former writer-correspondent for Time and Life magazines. He was the editor columnist and film critic for the Los Angeles Times from 1965-1991. He is the author of A Life in Writing: The Story of an American Journalist also published by Syracuse University Press and The Movies Grow Up, 1940-1980.
6 x 9, 232 pages