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Limping through Life: A Farm Boy's Polio Memoir Hardcover – April 24, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society Press; 1 edition (April 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870205803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870205804
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In 1947, when he was just 12 years old, the world as Apps knew it was turned upside down. A rural Wisconsin farm boy, Apps was all too familiar with the aches and twinges that came from a hard day helping his family tend livestock and crops. The searing pain that gripped his right leg one November night was unlike anything he’d felt before, however, and something that would not be eased by a few unheard of days of rest or his mother’s traditional home cures. Diagnosed with polio and saddled with a crippling limp that could limit his productive life and ability to contribute to his family’s welfare, Apps learned to cope and compensate. Frankly describing the emotional and physical challenges that were the disease’s legacy, Apps reflectively positions his subsequent academic, military, professional, and personal accomplishments within the framework of a more innocent time and place. A respected historian, environmentalist, and author (Tamarack River Ghost, 2012), Apps’ meticulous attention to detail and deep appreciation for those who helped him persevere enliven this poignant memoir. --Carol Haggas

Review

In 1947, when he was just 12 years old, the world as Apps knew it was turned upside down. A rural Wisconsin farm boy, Apps was all too familiar with the aches and twinges that came from a hard day helping his family tend livestock and crops. The searing pain that gripped his right leg one November night was unlike anything he’d felt before, however, and something that would not be eased by a few unheard of days of rest or his mother’s traditional home cures. Diagnosed with polio and saddled with a crippling limp that could limit his productive life and ability to contribute to his family’s welfare, Apps learned to cope and compensate. Frankly describing the emotional and physical challenges that were the disease’s legacy, Apps reflectively positions his subsequent academic, military, professional, and personal accomplishments within the framework of a more innocent time and place. A respected historian, environmentalist, and author (Tamarack River Ghost, 2012), Apps’ meticulous attention to detail and deep appreciation for those who helped him persevere enliven this poignant memoir.(Carol Haggas,Booklist)

More About the Author

Jerry Apps writes novels and nonfiction about the outdoors, country life, and rural living for adults and children. He received the 2008 First Place Nature Writing Award from the Midwest Independent Publishers Association and the 2007 Major Achievement Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, and was elected a Fellow in Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters in 2012.

For further information, visit Jerry's website, www.jerryapps.com

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Love all of Jerry's books/videos.
Karen A.
Jerry Apps has a relaxed, readable writing style and kept my interest throughout the book.
Steven C. Samer
Once I started to read this book I could not put it down until finished.
David Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven C. Samer on May 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jerry Apps has a relaxed, readable writing style and kept my interest throughout the book. Having grown up in WI and knowing the Waushara County area made this book especially interesting to me. I passed it along to my 94 year old Mother who's lived in WI all her life and she liked it a lot, too. I remember the polio scare well, I was a child then, too and the fact that they weren't sure what caused it, so places like public swimming pools and county fairs were closed. Apps had limitations due to polio, but certainly did well in his life by cultivating his strengths in writing and science. I think this would be a good book for anyone who wants to know about rural and small town life and also learn about how the polio epidemic affected people, especially children, in that era.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ann Emmerich on September 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved this book, as did my parents who actually grew up in Wild Rose at the time... and my uncle is in some of the photos.

But, most importantly, I have a patient (I am a physical therapist) who had polio at the same time as Jerry did. Same illness, perhaps a bit worse. I had loaned the book to him to read. He is now in the post-polio syndrome of this terrible disease, as is Jerry. He completely related to the initial illness and the subsequent syndrome. He both loved the book and had a terrible time reading it.

Thank you, Jerry, for sharing and putting into words everything that he experienced. And making it understandable for those who were impacted by it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer R. on May 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I live in Wisconsin so I thought I would give this book a try. It was enjoyable in a matter-of-fact sort of way. The life style his family lived is light years from how we live today so taking a step back into a less complex time was refreshing. It also made me realize how hard they worked. There was little pity for a young boy with polio. The people around him are rather stoic. His whole life changed due to his polio and in the end probably developed him into the hard working talented man he became. The thing that stood out for me was when he went to college his mother didn't hug or kiss him or cry. She just dropped him off! I can't imagine! It was a different time and they were brought up to not show much emotion. That is why it is sort of matter-of-fact.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gomershad on September 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you saw the PBS special "A Farm Story", featuring narrative by and the interview of author Jerry Apps, you'll love this book (I think PBS stations are going to repeat the airing this-coming December). A heart-warming first-hand account of Depression-era and post-Depression life in what we would consider "primitive" country-living in Wisconsin. And, if you love this book, Google and buy the "A Farm Story" DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vince Johnson on August 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Younger people don't realize how much polio affected the lives of so many young people around 1950. The author was fortunate that his type of polio did not leave hime totally paralyzed like it did to a classmate of my older sister.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RobbyBobby on May 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed Jerry Apps recalling his experiences as a young man with polio. Having had a similar experience, it was good to hear about how someone else dealt with growing up with a disability.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Georgia L. Stone on May 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This story just shows that there is something more for you in life when you are given a challenge to overcome..A a new path awaits to bring you to a calling you never expected. Mr. Apps certainly found his as is apparent in his writings.
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Interesting autobiographical account of the life of Jerry Apps. Jerry had a minor (minor compared to crippling cases) case of polio.
He was able to attend the Univ.of Wisconsin and become a US Army lieutanent through ROTC. Interesting read.
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