I just finished reading a neat book some very good friends gave me. The title is "The Way It Was." It was written by Richard A. Moore, a long time resident of the community of Eagle, in Chester County.
I have known Dick and various members of his family for years. We were not really friends but just knew each other from having been raised in the same area. He is probably about 17 years older than I am but we still experienced the same taste of country life.
Dick also talks about the nearby communities of Byers (This is where I grew up), Lionville, Milford Mills, Glenmoore, Downingtown and others. His description of these places especially in the 1940s and 1950s and can give newcomers to the area a feeling of what it was like to have lived there in those time periods. Much has changed.
The author describes some of his hunting adventures chasing rabbits and pheasants. Reading about his experiences almost put me right back there again. I could hear the pheasants cackling, the beagles running rabbits and the hounds chasing foxes.
I find myself getting into nostalgic moods more and more these days. It is especially hard to go back to the Eagle area and see the changes. Dick says he does not believe it has been progress either. That is my sentiment. Developers ruin the land with little regard for nature, historic importance or keeping their buildings in line with the setting. Their main concern is money. These are not the words of the author but mine.
Dad used to tell me about the happenings in the Eagle area when everyone knew each other back in the "old days." Dad would have been 90 in 2005 so he was a little older than Dick by about the same amount of years Dick is older than I am.
All three of us attended the Windsor School, which is now the old part of the Upper Uwchlan Township Building. Dick described some of the games I used to play and I recall Dad saying the same thing.
I got a kick out of Dick telling how he used to carry his BB gun or .22 around with him quite often. Sounds like some friends and myself. We had a great time shooting varmints and pests. The farmers welcomed us. Dick wondered what would happen today if a 10-year old were seen carrying a BB gun or .22 in the area. Most children were more responsible back then and were taught how to handle guns at an early age.
I was not around during World War II and Dad was overseas during that critical time period so I never had anyone tell me what the area was like at that time. Dick was a pre-teen then and gave his perspective on the feel of the community.
As long as Germany was in the war, people sensed that an invasion was possible especially with German U-boats just off our coastline. The author describes how this affected imported products like sugar and gasoline. The lifestyle of the area changed. Anyone trying to cheat on getting more than their fair share was almost considered a traitor.
Dick also illustrated his 224-page book with some of his watercolor prints of Eagle and Byers. I guess you would consider these "primitive art" pieces. They are "cartoonish" in nature but give me a feel for wanting to be there. I like that style and, of course, it is where I grew up too.
Dick has no idea I am doing this review so if you would like to learn more about the book or how to acquire one of his prints, you can contact him at his E-Mail address: email@example.com Tell him where you heard about it too. I would appreciate it.