When Grandpa Delivered Babies and Other Ozarks Vignettes
About the BookPeople in the Ozarks have long told humorous vignettes that make sense of triumph and tragedy, relay family and local history, and of course entertain. Benjamin G. Rader’s memoir offers a loving portrait of the Ozarks of his youth, where his grandfather midwifed babies and his great uncle Jerry Rader laughed so hard at one of his own stories that he choked to death on a pork chop. As he reveals the Ozarks of the 1930s through 1950s, Rader dispels the myths of the region’s people as isolated and sharing a single set of values and behaviors. He also takes readers inside the life of the extended Rader family and its neighborhoods, each of which drew on storytelling to strengthen resolve in lives roiled by change, economic depression, and the shift of daily life from the country to the city.
An alluring blend of remembering and reflection, When Grandpa Delivered Babies and Other Ozarks Vignettes provides a vivid portrait of a fading time.
“How many celebrated American historians began life in a remote log cabin in the Depression-era Ozarks? Ben Rader's probably the only one. It may start in territory occupied by stereotype and romance, but his story humbly and skillfully illuminates the lives of common Ozarkers navigating the furious changes of the mid-twentieth century. A terrific collection of vignettes.”--Brooks Blevins, author of A History of the Ozarks, Vol. 3: The Ozarkers