In the 1920s and 1930s, Cherrydale appeared to be a sleepy village across the river from the nation’s capital. People with simple needs seemed to pleasantly go about the business of living and lazing against a backdrop of colorful gardens, cooling breezes, front porch swings, and the chatter of some who had witnessed the Civil War and others who had just been born into a more serene world.
Actually, Cherrydale was ablaze with coots, characters and kids who made living there adventurous, thrilling, humorous and, at times, dangerous.
Cherrydale follows the life of Les Phillips from toddler to the beginning of WWII. With his buddies, he would challenge authority, take risks for kicks, prank his way into legend, and with only a nickel in his pockets, find ways to realize his dream.
His path would cross a thieving killer, Babe Ruth, quacks, a Peeping Tom, gypsies, a crazed turkey, and rivals from nearby villages, to name just a few.
Les’ young life created a dynamic, ever-hopeful man, but it wasn’t a life without pain. He lived in a world separated by race and class, and a world that was often cruel to those who were limited. Losing his mother when he was only 14, Les was left to deal with an indifferent flimflam father, the tragic deaths of his two best friends, and a struggle to win the love of a beautiful Cherrydale girl.
Supporting him through the heartbreak and hi-jinks was a grandfather who loved Les like a son, and a brave and brilliant Collie who was at Les’ side for 19 years.
Written by Dean Simpson Philips, Cherrydale reintroduces Les Phillips and a cast of characters from a bygone era that was far from perfect, but remains immensely compelling. Cherrydale is a touching and uplifting ode to villages and towns that dotted the country only eighty and ninety years ago; a time and place worth revisiting.
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Dog Tail Press, 2015
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