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Once Upon a Town

(Books, History, Nonfiction) Permanent link

If you’re into nostalgia and by-gone eras in American history, you should check out the writings of Bob Greene, who is a syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune, a magazine writer for both Life and Esquire, and a broadcast journalist for ABC News Nightline. He has traveled the country seeking out unusual and everyday stories of Americans.

One title I recently read is Once Upon a Town, the story of people in North Platte, Nebraska, who wanted to make a difference in soldiers' lives that were heading overseas during World War II. Trains carrying these soldiers passed through this small town everyday of the war from 5 a.m. until midnight making refueling stops. The people of this town and the surrounding areas decided to turn the train depot into a canteen where the soldiers were welcomed with homemade food, music, magazines, and more important, people, who let them know that they cared about the war effort and supported these sometimes very young, lonely, scared men. 

The book includes many interviews with the soldiers still living, and learning how they have never forgotten the kindness of strangers. What started out as a small undertaking on the part of the North Platte residents, turned into a gigantic operation for five plus years. It was a great example of how a few people can make a lasting difference in someone’s life.

Other titles by Bob Greene in our collection are: 

Chevrolet Summers, Dairy Queen Nights
The 50-Year Dash
When We Get to Surf City 


Once Upon a Town

Posted by Marybeth Smith at 07/01/2008 10:02:33 AM