A relative 1st gave this book to me when it was released. I was in college then and not accustomed to quality writing. I was so moved by the soulful snapshots within each story that I passed the book around my circle of friends. Years later, I gave the book to my wife, hoping to illustrate the humility that I hoped we would strive for. Some years later, I read the book myself, again, and no less moved than the 1st time. Bottom line: this book will be a treasured, and revisited, addition to your library. It brings you back to reality.
IT IS COLD AND DAMP HERE ON OUR LITTLE HILL TOP IN CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA. THE FIRE IS UP AND A STATE OF ATARAXIA HAS SETTLED ON OUR SMALL HOME THIS WEEKEND. DOTTIE AND OUR DAUGHTERS ARE IN VIRGINIA AND I AM IN THE LIBRARY WITH ALL MY READING AIDS [FAILING EYESIGHT], MY LUNCH [A STEPDOOR SANDWICH] AND A SPOT OF EARL GRAY. MY BOOK IS CALLED "PLAN B FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS", STORIES BY MY FRIEND RON CARLSON. "RON SEES DIRECTLY INTO OUR YEARNINGS, AND SHOW US HOW TO BEGIN LOVING OURSELVES", SAYS FRIEND WILLIAM KITTREDGE. THE COVER OF THIS BOOK DOES NOT DO IT JUSTICE. IT LOOKS LIKE A SOCIAL STUDIES TEXTBOOK. BUT IT IS REALLY A BEAUTIFUL BOOK OF MEN LEARNING HOW TO BE MEN. HOW TO KNOW WHEN AND HOW TO FALL BACK TO PLAN B ONLY AS PROXIMITY TO DISASTER. EACH STORY REMINDS ME OF A TIME I MY OWN LIFE. OH RON, WHERE WERE YOU 50 YEARS AGO? FAILING WITH PLAN A, TO THE SCARY SENSE OF HAVING TO GO TO PLAN B, WITHOUT A MAP. BE YOU YOUNG, MIDDLE AGE OR MY AGE, BE YOU MALE, FEMALE, OR UNSURE, THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL READ.