Stories from the Olden Days

Non-Fiction - Humor/Comedy
170 Pages
Reviewed on 06/06/2015
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Author Biography

William P. Robertson was born in 1950 in Bradford, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Mansfield State College in 1972 with a B.S. in English. Since then, he has worked in factories, taught high school English, and run a successful house painting business. Robertson began freelancing short stories, poetry, and articles in 1978, and his work has appeared in over 500 magazines worldwide. He has also published eleven poetry collections, two audio books of horror verse, six volumes of short stories, and thirteen novels. Bill is an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates and vintage rock & roll. As a Bucktail Civil War reenactor, he's still playing army with his pals. For more information about Robertson's writing, visit

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Stories from the Olden Days: A Humorous Look at Growing Up in the 1950's & '60s is a collection of short non-fiction vignettes written by William P. Robertson. These stories work together as a memoir of the author's earliest years through to his graduation from high school. Robertson grew up in a small and closely knit town in Pennsylvania. His father chose the small house where they lived because of the land it was built on. They had woods behind it as well as a stream. Robertson had a full and energetic life in those woods and other places where he and the kids in his neighborhood would get together and play. There was a pond where they'd hunt for frogs and salamanders in the summer and skate in the winter. Robertson was just at the age to appreciate music when The Beatles' music reached the United States. This was at about the same time as he was going to high school, and every week there were dances where garage bands played.

William P. Robertson's non-fiction humorous memoir collection, Stories from the Olden Days: A Humorous Look at Growing Up in the 1950's & '60s, is marvelous reading that makes you laugh and remember what it's like to be a goofy kid again. Shining throughout the stories is the author's affection for his sister and parents, and the friends and relatives who were part of his life as he was growing up. I found Stories from the Olden Days hard to put down. The photographs of the author's father hamming it up are priceless, especially the one where he's attacking the Thanksgiving turkey with a Bowie knife. But equally memorable are those stories about his father taking him out on his first hunting trip and the two of them melting lead, casting and then painting the lead soldiers they would later wage battles with. This is a warm and big-hearted book that shares so much of the author's life, and it makes you smile as he recounts the good, the outrageous and even the truly awful things that happened back then. Stories from the Olden Days: A Humorous Look at Growing Up in the 1950's & '60s is most highly recommended.

Jessyca Garcia

I had trouble putting down William P. Robertson’s book Stories From the Olden Days. From the very first page, my interest was captured by how he grew up in the 50’s and 60’s. The book is made up of short stories that are obviously told with love and is an easy read.

Stories from the Olden Days makes me wish I grew up in that time. It is nice to see how some things have stayed the same since Robertson was in school, yet many things are very different. I found it funny that the kids sang the same “naughty jokes” when I was in grammar school in the 80’s as they did in the 50’s. The differences I noticed are that nowadays I do not know of any school that still has a rifle team and I am glad teachers are not allowed to paddle their students anymore. I love how Robertson shared actual photos with his readers. I like to put a face on the characters I read about; it makes me feel as if I know them. It also makes the book look sort of like a scrapbook, which I really like.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Robertson’s fond memories in Stories From the Olden Days. It gave me a glimpse of the past when things seemed to be simpler. It also made me see that kids seemed to have more fun back then compared with today. I recommend this book to anyone who needs to be reminded how the “olden days” were.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

The 1950s - the era of the baby-boomers, or so we've been labeled. It's hard to imagine that the 1950s is now considered the 'Olden Days'. But, then again, that's part of William P. Robertson's charm and sense of humor. Stories from the Olden Days is a collection of Robertson's memories from his growing up years in the 1950s and 1960s. He starts with a quirky chapter on political correctness in this era. Actually, as he points out, it didn't exist and that's why he titles the chapter "Politically What?" As the author points out, in this era, "People spoke their minds, plain and simple."

The next few chapters introduce the reader to the author's childhood neighborhood, his friends, his parents and his sister. No one was spared the author's attention to detail and his sense of humor, but all of his descriptions are stories given in good fun with no insult intended. Most of the stories center around Robertson's early childhood, but the latter part of the book introduces us to the teenage Robertson as we meet his first love in "Love-Itis."

William P. Robertson is quite the character and, through his collection of memoirs, it becomes clear to the reader that he has always been a character, just like his father, whose humorous pranks lightened the mood all around and made for lots of fun for children and adults alike. This is a book of anecdotes that provides a humorous look at growing up in the 1950s and 1960s. Fascinating read and an interesting trip down Memory Lane.