The 1960s was a turbulent coming of age for many Americans, and for America itself. If you are too young to remember or weren’t even thought about back then, these years may be no more than a murky mist shrouded in hippies, Vietnam and rock music. The baby boomer generation, however, was right in the middle of it. It was “our” coming of age. And now, for those of us who would like to remember, there is a new book entitled “Son Of Sam Was My Catcher And Other Bronx Tales” by author/boomer Ian Lowell.
The book marches through the 1960s, chapter by chapter, year by year, recalling current events, music, sports, and the author’s own tales of growing up in the Monroe Houses, one of the Bronx’s infamous housing projects. If you lived through it, too, you will revel in the memories of those tumultuous years when everything was new and different, nothing like the status quo of prior generations. And, yes, one of the tales does involve Son of Sam Killer David Berkowitz.
“Son Of Sam Was My Catcher And Other Bronx Tales” is replete with the glory names of the era. If you were a baseball fan, there is Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, and the surprise ‘69 summer of the New York Mets. Basketball fans will lovingly recall Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. These are only a few of the names you will encounter as you relive that decade of decades.
Of course, the 1960s held many dark moments and Lowell doesn’t shy away from bringing them out of history and into the moment. You’ll read about the horrors of the Vietnam war and the loss of personal friends. There are tales of the riots that threatened to engulf the New York area. There are tales of gangs and robbery and muggings and drugs, all things associated with growing up in the projects. Despite it all, though, “Son of Sam Was My Catcher And Other Bronx Tales” is infused with a quiet undercurrent of joy.
For me, the best part of the book was the music. You can tell that Mr. Lowell is a true music aficionado as he lovingly describes going to concert after concert and experiencing all the great bands of the era. As I read, the music bombarded my soul and left me singing tunes by Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, The Beatles, The Stones, Jim Morrison, and all the folks at Woodstock, three days of peace and love.
“Son of Sam Was My Catcher And Other Bronx Tales” is well-researched and well-written. It moves along at a spirited pace and is an engaging read. If you grew up in the 1960s. . . or you didn’t but you’d like to learn more about it, this book is for you. NOSTALGIA WARNING: If you’re a baby boomer, you will definitely cry tears, laugh, and take an enjoyable stroll down memory lane.
Disclaimer: I was gifted a copy of “Son of Sam Was My Catcher And Other Bronx Tales” by author Ian Lowell. All opinions and commentary here are my own. The book is currently available for Kindle at Amazon.com and you can get yours by clicking HERE.