Project Boys

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.

That’s me in the center!

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.

16 thoughts on “Project Boys

  1. Hi Bill(y).
    I am Judy Thomas Pellegrino. Our family lived in 91-C Harper Drive. I was young but I remember your extended family. Your Grandmother lived across the sidewalk from us along with various members of your family. I am 78 today so you are younger than me.Hope you are successful with your book.
    judypellegrino@verizon.net

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    • Hi Judy, I remember your family. You lived next door to my mom, dad and me. To be honest, I didn’t remember you until I saw your name “Thomas” and you mentioned living across the sidewalk from my grandmother. The most amazing thing is that I have a story in the book about your dad. He cooked a carp we brought him (at his request) and gave me some to try. It was delicious! Thank You.. Bill(y)

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      • Judy’s niece here. We lived on Boone drive till I was five then moved to the numbered streets.

        I don’t remember my Grandpap ever cooking anything! Maybe Grandma cooked it! 😆

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      • I don’t know who cooked it, but your grandpa gave it to me. What I remember is a low fence between our yards and eating the carp while your grandpa watched.

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    • Hi Judy… again. The photo of the three young boys (with me in the middle) shows the back door to your house. The photo was taken in my grandmother’s back yard. Bill(y)

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  2. Congratulations Bill! I grew up in the Projects on Watson Drive. Remember you and your family. I’m sending you my check for a copy of your book. Good Luck

    Janet Murray Johnson (Graduate of TCHS 1967)

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    • Thank you Janet! I hope you enjoy my book. It is difficult to relate just what a wonderful life I had growing up in the “Projects”. When I was writing I relived every moment as if I was there. Bill

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  3. Hello Bill,
    Sending an order for the book and looking forward to reading it. I am part of a large family that grew up mostly in the “Second Alley’ section of Watson drive and I can certainly relate to many of the memories mentioned. I understand there are a few who never left the Projects ( aka the Electric Heights Housing Assn) if my memory serves me correctly. Thank you!

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    • Hi Barry, I remember you and your brother, Artie. Actually, Artie gave me my nickname – Beetle. I even remember the unit you lived in. I hope you enjoy my book. Bill a.k.a. Beetle

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  4. I remember a community-family that embraced each other. The elderly baked cookies for the kids, shared stories about working in the mill or on the railroad, while in exchange the youth took care of shoveling and mowing for their older friends. Can’t wait to read, Project Boys.

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  5. The elderly baked cookies for the kids, shared stories about working in the mill or on the railroad, while in exchange the youth took care of shoveling and mowing for their older friends. We were a community – family that embraced each other! Can’t wait to read, Project Boys.

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  6. Hi Elaine… how can we get back to such a wonderful time? I loved growing up during the 50s and 60s… in the Projects. You are absolutely right. “We were a community.” I hope you enjoy “Project Boys”.

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  7. Hi, Bill!
    My name is FredBacon and I lived on Watson Drive in the very early 40’s until I married in ‘64 after serving in the Army. Living in the ‘Projects’ was an experience I will always cherish and can’t wait to read your book! I don’t think we knew each other then but I’m sure I’ll recognize some of your story locations. I was born in 1940 and will be 80 in August. 1958 graduate of TCHS.

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    • Hi Fred… I lived on Harper Drive from 1949 – 1956, and on Hall Drive from 1957 – 1972. One of the people often mentioned in my book was a friend, Ron. He lived on Watson Drive, and so did many of my relatives. I hope my book brings some great memories back to you! I loved writing “Project Boys.” It brought back some of the best times of my life. Bill

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  8. Congratulations Bill, I have written two books and know how great it is to see your work in print. I plan to order it now, as I remember the days on Boone Drive. It was a great place to live even if it was’nt the best looking housing. Good luck and I’ll spread the word.

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    • Hi Connie… this is my 4th book. Three have been published and the other will most likely be available next spring. I want to hear more about your books. “Project Boys” was a lot of fun for me. I would laugh out loud about some of my experiences as if I were reliving them. So many Creekers have contacted me with notes and letters about living in the projects. It’s great to hear from you! Congratulations to you.

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