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Recollections: a Baby Boomer's Memories of the Fabulous Fifties Paperback – August 14, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

Recollections: a Baby Boomer's Memories of the Fabulous Fifties + Green Stamps to Hot Pants: Growing Up in the 50s and 60s + Penny Loafers & Bobby Pins: Tales and Tips from Growing Up in the '50s and '60s
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: lulu.com (August 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0557091004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0557091003
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,236,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim Chambers was born in 1946, nine months and five days after his father returned from serving with the U.S. 8th Air Force in England during World War II. After earning two engineering degrees at Georgia Tech, he spent the next 40 years designing highways in Georgia. Besides writing, Chambers is an avid amateur photographer and scuba diver. His land and underwater photography has been published in such prestigious publications as National Geographic, Popular Science, and Parade Magazine.

"Recollections: A Baby Boomer's Memories of the Fabulous Fifties" is Jim's first book.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I found the book to be a fun read.
Angela D. Kiker
The author is certainly thorough but the strengths of this book are Mr. Chambers' humor and soothing writing style.
Yale R. Jaffe
Anyone growing up during that time should read Recollections: A Baby Boomers Memories of the Fabulous Fifties.
Bill Flynn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Richard Kenyada on July 14, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Author James R. Chambers chose familiar territory to trumpet his arrival to the literary scene, and a welcome arrival it is. Recollections: A Baby Boomer's Memories of The Fabulous Fifties is a wonderfully cohesive soundtrack and love letter to a bygone era. But don't let the title mislead you. Recollections is not a memoir; nor is it a history lesson. It is, rather, a lovingly honest portrait of America in the mid-20th Century.

Mr. Chambers has opened a time capsule, of sorts, that is as fresh and innocent today as it was in 1955. He allows the rest of us to be a fly on the wall as he strolls through a simpler time, when war was a cataclysmic explosion in history rather than a generational inheritance. A world where the children all rushed to Christmas trees that hovered over Hula Hoops and Frisbees, Erector Sets, Davy Crockett slippers. We were first turned on to science by Mr. Wizard, or our first microscope. It's all here, neatly folded and pressed.

As a fellow Baby Boomer, this book visits the street where I lived. Chambers writes about kids and school, arts and entertainment, shopping, politics, culture and the foods of the 1950's. The book is sometimes very funny, like when Chambers recalls that his school didn't need the armed security guards and metal detectors of today "because our enemies were already inside the school - the principal and the teachers." From scene to scene, I found myself caught up in images that Norman Rockwell could have painted. But Chambers uses his "canvas" as a window, as well as a mirror.

He allows for the real struggle, confusion and fear of the times. What child was not made to feel tiny in the Cold War era of bomb shelters and Apocalyptic threats?
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Melanie Frazier on July 20, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I, too, am a Baby Boomer; though a few years younger than the author of "Recollections." We share many of the same memories, as I was constantly nodding vigorously and crying, "Yes, yes" as I took this poignant and humorous walk down Memory Lane. Mr. Chambers artfully interweaves interesting historical tidbits with his own recollections of The Fabulous Fifties.

So many words and phrases elicited a reflexive warm-and-fuzzy nostalgic grin -- The Weekly Reader; View Master; filling up your S&H Green Stamp book; Peanut Butter Logs. Even wince-inducing memories -- Cod Liver Oil, anyone? - brought a laugh, due to Mr. Chambers' hilarious description of being subjected to that indignity. At least we could get rid of the foul taste by licking the ice cream off the dasher of the old wooden churn!

"Recollections" perfectly blends paying homage to those little day-to-day rituals with a larger-scale examination of social issues and mores of the times. And it's equally entertaining on either level.

The book is neatly divided into 12 independent chapters, noted above, so for the reader short on time, it would be easy just to pick a topic of interest and dive in. I can guarantee you, though -- that chapter is going to make you hungry for more. The engaging, conversational style of this book made it very difficult to put down. And it was almost like a treasure hunt -- as I'd be reading an account of popular candies or toys of the day, I'd think of one myself and eagerly wait to see if it was mentioned. Unfailingly, it was. I thought I had caught an omission once when I found no reference to the intoxicating smell of a fresh mimeograph in the "School" section -- but not to worry, it was there in the subsequent chapter on "Gadgets and Gizmos.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Meister on August 16, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
This book provides a fabulous trip down memory lane. Born in 1959, this fast reading book brought back plenty of memories I had forgotten. Thank you Mr. Chambers for the time capsule.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Paula S. Goebel on August 23, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kudos to Mr. Chambers for allowing us to travel along with him on his trip down memory lane. I felt as though he was observing my life too, oh so many details could have been taken from my book of life.

At times while reading I felt very sentimentally torn between being so grateful for having that childhood/coming of age, to wondering what it would have been like to have what today's kids have. But all in all, I wouldn't trade my life for a kid's life today for ANYTHING!

It was a simple life, as Mr. Chambers so artfully detailed. He masterfully includes so many minute details. It is easy to see he researched this beyond just his memories. I have those memories too, but no way could I remember all the dates and exact names like he did.

Including historical information was the icing on the cake, and filled in the gap for anyone not of our generation to be able to have an idea of the era's important milestones we just lived through. They were natural parts of life for us, little did we know that we were living through major historical life events that would shape our world.

The candy, the prices, the games, the tv shows (or lack of..haha), the clothing, music...all of it priceless remembrances of a time so long ago, yet forever in our memories. I can at any time recall those days with such vivid color, but it is nice to see it in print, because there may be a day when my memory is not so clear.

One thing is for sure, we boomers are linked across time and distance through our commonalities of growing up. We are unique, and our value structures were developed from our experiences.

I have told my students many times of the 'olden days', times when I could go the movies AND get a coke and popcorn all for about a quarter.
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