In this first volume of his autobiography, William Moule has written a simple, honest, heart-warming story of his life. And what a life it was! Bill's story is not only a raw, adventurous display of his own life, but also the lives of his family, friends, and foes.
The scope of this story is vast and covers several generations, beginning with Bill's maternal grandparents. The first portion, told by his mother, provides a vivid picture of life before the turn of the century when every member of the family worked hard and did whatever was necessary to survive.
As Bill grew up, his family moved frequently to wherever jobs were available. They operated a laundry, second-hand store, and a hotel; raised chickens and milk cows; worked in a creamery, saw mill, paper mill, coal and gold mines; harvested hay, wheat, cantaloupes and potatoes; felled timber, built roads, and dug ditches for gigantic pipelines; washed dishes, chopped wood, and shoveled manure; rode the rails, bummed meals, hitchhiked ... and slept just about everywhere.
Bill's story is filled with good times and bad times: births, family squabbles, tragic accidents, love, hate, marriage, divorce, and death. Through it all, his introspection is spiced with a heavy dash of good humor. There is also the romance of a lifetime, when Bill marries Marge, the girl of his dreams and his wife of 52 years. Bill writes: "If anyone reads this and doesn't come to the conclusion that Margaret and I have had an incredible love affair, his is a damned poor reader or I'm a damned poor writer."
Although written for Bill's family, this book is a rich treasure for anyone who wants to know what the good-ole days were really like. The story will be especially interesting to old-timers in the California Mother Lode who will recognize many of the mines and the people who play a part in this big slice of one man's life and times.
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