Author John M. Williams, who grew up in Auburn, Alabama, has penned an unusual memoir written in the form of essays about the people and places that made the greatest impact on him as a young man. Village People: Sketches of Auburn will both transport readers to a simpler time, and provide a snapshot of the history, from Williams' point of view, of the place called "The Loveliest Village." Williams' keen eye for detail is the cornerstone for this book of remembrances but don't expect a lot of sentimentality - his wry sense of humor shines through every essay.
Of course, football made an impact on Williams and he includes stories of two players - Bobby Freeman and David Langner - but the majority of the stories are about teachers, band directors, preservationists, businessmen, a dance instructor, and even a place called Toomer's Corner. This is a book almost everyone would enjoy, but particularly anyone who has ever lived in Auburn, as a resident or as a student, and considers it "their town."
Rheta Grimsley Johnson writes in her foreword to Village People: "He makes us see the things he saw, from a perspective-his perspective-that is not old but wise, not cynical but careful. The boy on the Western Flyer has grown up, and the Auburn characters in this beautiful book had much to do with it. Johnny has waited, as he eloquently puts it, until 'the ego is losing its muscle tone' to deliver these words."