Sunday, June 23, 2019

Review of "Nannygoats," by Ralph Mills

Review of

Nannygoats, by Ralph Mills

Five out of five stars

 Ordinarily, a nanny goat is the term for a female goat, but in this context, it is the term the author’s family uses to refer to a short anecdotal story. The author was born in 1902 and graduated from Cornell College in Iowa in 1925, with the exception of a stint in the American navy he worked as a civil engineer his entire career. A lifelong Iowan, most of these stories are about events in his youth. There are 37 in all.

 The author’s father was the local doctor before there were x-rays, antibiotics and many of the other life-saving treatments. Several of the stories deal with his hitching up the team of horses and going with his father to one medical emergency or another. One of the most interesting was when his father went to the parked gypsy caravan to deliver a baby. In those days, payment for medical services was often in farm goods or firewood, but the gypsy paid cash.

 The author was a witness to the appearance of the automobile and the airplane. One of the most amazing stories is number 30. Around 1910, the man who ran a bicycle shop in Grinnell, Iowa built and flew his own plane. Everyone was amazed when it passed overhead. Those who know the history of the invention of the plane will know that Orville and Wilbur Wright honed their mechanical skills working on bicycles.

 While these stories are entertaining, they are not spectacular. Just the reminisces of an elderly man that had a lot of fun growing up in Iowa in the early years of the twentieth century.

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