This is the story of the author’s life growing up in a large family in a small Missouri town near Route 66 during the 1950s.
DeWayne Landwehr, like many boys who grew up in small-town America, lived through physical and sexual abuse—but he also enjoyed some great times. His early memories involved raising chickens: There were always eggs to gather. Every day, the family would bring them to the basement to be washed, candled, graded, and sold—or washed, sanitized, and assembled into the trays for the incubator, depending on whether they were to be eaten or hatched into more chickens.
With three older siblings, he could not wait to go to school. Every day, he’d see his siblings go to class—and it seemed so magical. The entire school system was located right across the street in three buildings.
Later, he started working his way to college at a gas station on the famous Route 66, where he encountered people of varying backgrounds. He struggled with the sometimes dishonest practices of his boss, contrasted with the necessity of keeping a job, and met interesting characters along the way.