Saturday, April 13, 2019

Review of 'Uncle Harold and His “Johnny Popper”' by Thomas J. Curoe

Review of
Uncle Harold and His “Johnny Popper” by Thomas J. Curoe

Five out of five stars
 To Iowa farm boys like myself, the term “Johnny Popper” refers to an earlier model of a small John Deere tractor. Like many others, I once owned such a tractor and can still mentally conjure up the sound that it made as I galivanted across the property in the metal seat.
 This story is about an farmer and his old tractor that he would rather repair than replace. The author spent his first summer on Great Uncle Harold’s and Aunt Naomi’s farm when he was seven years old. Harold’s sons had left the farm to pursue careers, so a child was very welcome on the farm. The author spent nine straight summers on the farm, and he looks back on them with great fondness. After all, even if there is no television, no one is ever bored on a farm during the summer months. There are chores and an infinite number of things to play with and on.
 He watched Harold and the tractor age together and he relates to Harold’s funeral and the final resting place of his beloved tractor. It is fitting that it ended up being a toy in a park. Uncle Harold must have been a very important man, for John and Bobby Kennedy once drove Johnny Popper.
 This is a short, yet very good book about a boy growing up on a farm and sharing his fond memories of the experiences. It is something that is now far too rare, smart phones cannot replace what life on a farm gives you.

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