"It is one individual’s story, but it is representative of millions of other Americans of those times."

What makes up a life? For many, it’s only the extremes of highs and lows that seem most important when looking back over one’s lifetime. But for this author, it’s the minutia of existence that completes the picture. Pieced together from his wife’s diary, letters they both saved, and memory, Shipley writes a detailed account of the life he and his wife led through much of the twentieth century. It is the story of a love affair that never waned. The author recounts the big events, such as the births of their children and their numerous moves in pursuit of jobs during his career as an engineer, as well as the small ones like furnishing their first apartment and purchasing the cookware that he still uses today. Filled with all the things with which every life consists, it is a story of the joys and sorrows as well as the wins and losses of a man looking back on ninety-plus years.

The most remarkable aspect of Shipley’s memoir is his attention to detail. Not only is it one man’s account of his life during the twentieth century, but it is also a historical and sociological account of this period. There are priceless tidbits of information within this book about the beginnings of automation, of which, as an engineer with General Electric, Shipley was on the forefront. There are places mentioned like Betty Lou Beach, Florida, that has been swallowed into larger beach communities, making it a fascinating read for anyone interested in the past. Written with great care to detail and an evident desire to share the story of what many would have experienced as Americans during the mid-twentieth century, this book will appeal to both those who lived it and those who wish to understand those who did.

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