Author David L. Lyons grew up during the 1950s and 60s in the small community of Whitehall in northern Alabama. As a child, he dealt with abject poverty and the stigma of being born to an unwed mother, which greatly affected his childhood. Lyons realized he was different from other children on the first day of school, when teachers asked students to tell the class who their fathers were and what they did. He never knew his father. Instead, he was raised by a single mother—a rarity in 1947, when he was born—with the help of his maternal grandparents.
In his memoir, A Long Way from Whitehall, Lyons recalls the adventures, misadventures, and unusual characters he encountered living in rural Alabama. He includes tales of family, holidays, schools, and childhood mischief, as well as memories from his time in the navy, his return to civilian life, his time in college, and his eventual career as a police officer and a commissioned officer in the US Army. Lyons also provides a collection of food recipes and home remedies used during his youth.
This personal narrative presents a story of survival, perseverance, and the tremendous drive to overcome early difficulties. Lyons’ life story demonstrates that with hard work it is possible to achieve your dreams.