Life As I Lived It
by Richard W. Block

"Do you want to take a time trip? Just close your eyes and let your other senses take you there. Just take care not to be hit by a tractor or kicked by a mule."

Author Richard W. Block recalls growing up in a small town in Ohio in many short reminiscences that leap straight into the action. For many years an electrician/maintenance man, Block tells stories related to that employment, such as patching up a restroom wall at McDonald’s after someone put his fist through it—twice. The third time, Block placed plywood underneath, later being told about someone with a battered fist being escorted out of the restaurant. The author admires his elders: his grandmother who always worked hard, loved animals, and was a great cook; his father, who was so poor that he swept up at the local bakery, taking the flour from the dustpan home to eat, dirt and all. Block learned to use a gun from his father and now prides himself on hunting animals with a handgun. Having had many, he stitches his cuts, with superglue. He has fond memories of his Boy Scout years that inspired him to become a scout leader later.
Block is not a writer by trade, but he tells his tales with verve and good humor. He comes across as a strong, determined man who has little use for "crybabies." He admonishes us to follow the rules, avoid mistakes, and take pride in our work. Since the stories are arranged alphabetically by title instead of chronologically, the memory lines are sometimes difficult to follow, but in general Block does a creditable job of putting us in the picture of his childhood and young manhood. His vignettes remind us that we all have extraordinary stories to tell, even when we may have led what seem like ordinary lives. A memoir for family, friends, and nostalgia fans, Life as I Lived It offers amusing and at times affecting recollections of small-town America.

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