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Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite
"Back in the Day" tells the story of a young Bud Phelps as he grows up in Curtis, a small town in the Midwest. The story features classic memories that anyone can cringe at or reminisce about fondly from their own past, including freshmen initiation, playing football, your first beer or cigarette, skinny-dipping in the creek, first kisses and growing up. A true understanding of small-town, country living is painted throughout the book as gossip, mishaps, and adventures are recounted through Bud's eyes. As the story moves along, you really grow up with Bud, moving from high school and childhood adventures, through college, and eventually towards coming of age and a life within the military confines of the Navy.
"Back in the Day" is a truly satisfying and heartwarming journey into the past. The story reads as if you were hearing anecdotes and adventures right from your own grandpa’s lips while sitting around the fireplace or his Lay-Z Boy. It was hard for me to choose a favorite passage! There were the fun and memorable adventures where Bud and his best friend Sonny visited the rodeo. I love the beautiful imagery, and you could almost taste the dirt and humiliation as Bud falls off his horse in front of the prettiest girl in school. Through Bud Phelps’ memories, you really get an education in country living. I also really enjoyed the Boot Camp chapters and most of the other chapters about the Navy. I love hearing military stories and these truly have a lot of heart. You can practically feel the sense of camaraderie among all sailors. Anyone looking for a hint of nostalgia, especially those who have rural backgrounds, will probably fall head-over-heels for "Back in the Day".