My newest book, Project Boys, is now available.
What a marvelous, incredible childhood I had with a multitude of friends! Because of where we lived, there were lots of us who were the same age and lots of different places to explore which sparked our ingenuity and creativity. We were creative, but not always safe. Oh, what adventures we had!
My neighborhood consisted of what some people called the “Projects”. Others referred to them as “defense homes”. They were rows of buildings, each building made up of 2-9 attached white houses. They were built for the Westinghouse factory workers during World War II. After the war, a cooperative was formed and they were open to anyone who wanted to live there. My parents moved us there in 1949, probably to be close to other family members who lived in nearby buildings.
Today, in old family photos of the 1950s Projects, the neighborhood looks dirty, rundown and dreary to me. However, as a young boy growing up there, my memories are nothing short of wonderful. I had many best friends. We rode bikes, played a wide variety of games, did some dangerous things and explored. We eventually knew every nook and cranny of the row houses and became familiar with all the woodlands that surrounded much of the Projects. Living in such close quarters, Project kids knew each other better than most kids in other kinds of neighborhoods. We walked to school together, were in the same classes, and walked home together. And after school, on weekends and throughout the summers we spent most of our time together. We weren’t wild, but definitely were creative and adventuresome.
I invite you to join me for an entertaining excursion back as I celebrate the exuberance of youth in the 1950s and 1960s with my friends and me in…
“The Project Boys“!
Autographed copies are available for $14.95 (includes shipping and tax). Not available outside the continental United States. Mail check or money order to: Bill Beatty, 540 Genteel Ridge Road, Wellsburg, WV 26070. Please make sure to include your shipping address.