Canada in the mid-twentieth century was neither better nor worse than the Canada of today. But it certainly was different – mothers stayed home, few people had cars, radio was king, a holiday meant a couple of weeks at the lake, childhood diseases could be fatal, teachers gave the strap, condoms were hard to obtain (only at the local poolroom in Hearst, because the druggist was Catholic). It was a time when families were large and kids expected to do chores. Children were loved but unencumbered by parents micro-managing their lives or hovering over them every minute of their waking day. Result? Kids had the run of the town. In short, it was as golden age for growing up.
This is the world R.J. observes, from the apartment over his dad’s hardware store on the main corner of town, as he grows from youth to manhood. The stories in Run of the Town chart his progress in three phases – preteen, adolescent, young man.
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