Concrete Steps: Coming of Age in a Once-Big City by Larry C. KerpelmanConcrete Steps: Coming of Age in a Once-Big City by Larry C. Kerpelman

Concrete Steps: Coming of Age in a Once-Big City

byLarry C. Kerpelman

Paperback | August 15, 2016

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Seen through the eyes of an intellectually ambitious son of immigrant parents, Concrete Steps is the story of a boy growing up in the 1940s and ‘50s as he struggles with his family and within himself to attain his independence. At times irreverent and breezy, at times thoughtful and provocative, this crisply written memoir of growing up in Baltimore in mid-20th century America lays out the conflicts and joys of coming of age at a momentous time in our history. It will stir in the reader thoughts of times past and challenges of times present.

In this memoir, Larry C. Kerpelman provides a topical, rather than chronological, look at life in the 1940s through the 1950s as he lived it and learned from it. It interweaves the spirit and events of the times with his personal story. Taking an unvarnished look at the gritty realities of urban life in mid-20th-century America, his memoir chronicles the life of a family new to this country and not yet fully assimilated, struggling to make a living, dealing with anti-Semitism, coping with war on the home front, and yet trying to live their lives as fully as possible.

LARRY C. KERPELMAN, Ph.D., is an award-winning writer whose books include Pieces Missing: A Family’s Journey of Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury and Activists and Nonactivists: A Psychological Study of American College Students. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Joanie.

Title:Concrete Steps: Coming of Age in a Once-Big CityFormat:PaperbackDimensions:204 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.47 inPublished:August 15, 2016Publisher:Pratt Brook Communications, LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1942545487

ISBN - 13:9781942545484

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Table of Contents

Preface i1. To Begin at the End 12. In the Bosom of My Family 53. From Whence They Came 374. The Neighborhood with No Name 535. The War 75 6. School Daze 837. In My Spare Time 1098. If You Can't Be an Athlete . . . . 1279. This Working Life 13110. Music Makes My World Go Round 15311. OMG-Not 16312. Sex Rears Its Lovely Head 17513. Looking Back 181 Acknowledgments 185 About the Author 187

Editorial Reviews

"This is a wonderfully charming and poignant coming-of-age story. Through his own experiences, Kerpelman builds a vivid portrait of American life--and the city of Baltimore--in the mid-twentieth century. Concrete Steps is a testament to how deeply we are defined by family and the city we call home." Katherine Grandjean, Ph.D. Historian and author of American Passage "Memoirs often provide engaging, and sometimes inspiring, insights into the lives (or at least the self-reflections on the lives) of their authors, while a few trigger almost instantaneous identification and self-reflections by a reader who is either a contemporary of the author or shares some salient characteristic or parallel experience. The author's clear and engaging word images of life growing up in a home and neighborhood of Jewish immigrants in the 40's and 50's bore many uncanny parallels to my reflections on life roughly during that same period growing up in a segregated but safe and friendly black neighborhood in New Orleans. All of these emotional and very personal memories of my youth were continuously and vividly triggered by Kerpelman's lucid and candid stories of his own early remembrances. His easy style draws you comfortably into his story and surreptitiously provokes a mental rewind of the reader's own early life experiences." Wendell J. Knox Retired CEO, Abt Associates Inc."Larry Kerpelman's Concrete Steps is an affectionate memoir of a sensitive, bright, and observant boy growing up and out of Baltimore in the forties and fifties. The city has since lost much of its eminence as well as its population, but the author brings its old neighborhoods and his boyhood adventures into sharp focus. A gentle sense of humor lightens some of the more difficult encounters in Larry's upward journey. Family, bosses, and playmates are gently, but thoughtfully, sketched. The author has given us the street scene of a city and the values of a time that are long gone." Henry W. Vaillant, M. D. Former Chair, Department of Medicine Emerson Hospital"Larry Kerpelman both opens his personal and family history and provides an indelible portrait of city life, many elements of which have since disappeared. From the freedom of street games, walking to school, and home milk delivery, to the Good Humor man, the traveling photographer with his pony, and Army green mailboxes; from skipping grades to tough summer jobs and entering college; from The Platters to jazz, Kerpelman offers an album of his own memories. At the same time, he delivers engaging snapshots of a past shared by many first generation Americans." Jo M. Solet, Ph.D. Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School