On May 13, 1934, a baby boy was born to parents just trying to survive in the midst of desperate times. While his mama toiled in the cotton fields and his daddy worked in the sawmill, Earl Downing grew up catching minnows, swimming in the Suwannee River, and gobbling fistfuls of three-cent candy from the general store.
In this memoir, Downing narrates a unique coming-of-age journey as he endured the many challenges that accompanied uncertain times in America. While the threat of world war loomed on the horizon and racism plagued the country, Downing managed to avoid the repercussions of his father’s drunken rampages—until an argument with his father sent him out into the world on his own at thirteen. Downing details how he secured work at a sawmill and set up a moonshine still in order to buy shoes and food. With money in the bank and a strong work ethic, Downing then joined the US Marines and began honing the skills that would one day lead him to achieve professional success.
Earl Downing shares the inspiring true story of his scrappy journey through life as he overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles and accomplished more than he ever imagined.