Catching Chickens: Reflections of a Poultry Herder
Lawrence P. Wilson
nonfiction, humor, 282 pages
October 2020, self-published
Reviewed by Doris Green
If I had grandchildren, I’d want them to have a granddad like Lawrence Wilson. Older grandkids and adults will fully appreciate this book of 69 essays sprinkled with poetry. His stories, tall tales, and uncommon truths are all mixed together like the episodes of life itself. They are alternately exaggerated and humble, reverent and irreverent. Any entry may make you chuckle, nod in recognition, or just get you to think.
Each entry is a quick read, a standalone snippet of one Wisconsinite’s life. Each is an opportunity to see another perspective. A great read with a morning cup of coffee or on an afternoon break.
With titles like “My Morning Paper,” “My Shoebox of Gold,” “Big Easy Poet,” “Sex After 60,” “Thanksgiving 2019,” and “Believing in Angels,” the book’s entries evoke every emotion and hold nothing back. It takes courage to be honest with oneself, never mind an audience.
The reader learns about baseball, fishing, and growing up at a time when kids lived outdoors and on their own much of every weekend and vacation day. The reader learns early career realities right along with Wilson, from handling a paper route to catching chickens barehanded to being the first responder on a fire call. Wilson illuminates the experiences that led to his vision and values, strongly shaped by small-town Wisconsin and still relevant today
Wilson has a knack for clear descriptions and twisty, surprise endings.
Born in the 1950s, Wilson grew up in a central Wisconsin small town and went on to make a living wherever the varied jobs were, eventually becoming a firefighter/paramedic/investigator. He now lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin with his wife, Sue, and “writes some.”
Reviewer Doris Green authored Elsie’s Story: Chasing a Family Mystery and Wisconsin Underground: A Guide to Caves, Mines, and Tunnels, as well as Minnesota Underground: A Guide to Caves & Karst, Mines & Tunnels, with Greg Brick. Published by http://henschelhausbooks.com. She lives with her husband and three distracting cats on a wooded hillside in the Wisconsin River Valley.
This is a one of a kind book! Humorous, thought provoking, and loaded with down home stories.
Thoroughly enjoyable! It even has a touch of poetry.
Thank you, Gail! I'm so glad to hear that about Larry's book.
Wisconsin Writers Association
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