We All Wrote on the Same Outhouse Walls
by Larry M. Farrar
Stratton Press Publishing

"How was it possible that a poor boy with a run-of-the-mill education from a small town in the foothills of Appalachia could be so successful?"

Growing up in the Appalachian area of Pennsylvania in the 1950s gave Farrar a view of life heavily influenced by community. His town’s school burned down the last day of kindergarten and was replaced by a one-room schoolhouse. While he couldn’t read or spell well, he credits his success in life to living in a small town with certain values. As an adult, he played baseball in the minors for the Pittsburgh Pirates, served in the military, and became a senior vice president of Kimberly Clark Corp.

Instead of writing chronologically, the author has his memoir delve into topics of small-town life. In each topic, several stories are discussed both from his childhood and adulthood. There is also some commentary on how the values presented on the topic have changed from the 50s to today. When discussing how children back then had a BB gun early and access to guns to play with, the author talks about how he thinks the problem today is not access to guns but the values instilled in children. He talks about how his community came together at church, at the pool hall/gas station, and on porches. This memoir shows how life in a time where outhouses were common was sometimes better than the world we have now with all of its conveniences.

While the author mentions playing for the Pirates and being a senior vice president, the focus of this book is not on specific autobiographical details. Instead, Farrar allows his stories to take center stage. Overall, it is an interesting glimpse into American life in the 1950s and beyond.

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