Tuesday, June 12, 2012
"The Prize Winner Of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids On 25 Words Or Less" by Terry Ryan
Lately I have been on a kick of reading non-fiction. I just re-read one of my favorite books, The Prize Winner Of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids On 25 Words Or Less by Terry Ryan. Terry is one of Evelyn and Kelly Ryan's 10 children. Growing up in the 1950s, it was normal for the father to work outside of the home and the mother to take care of the children and the house. So how does a family with an extremely small income manage to keep a roof over the heads over the heads of their brood? By contesting of course!
Evelyn Ryan entered contest after contest in hopes of winning some prize- either something that could be sold to pay the bills or that could in some way support her children. If the family needed it, she won it. The lives of the Ryans are chronicled in this wonderful book. Evelyn kept stacks of notebooks with her contest entries- these are sprinkled throughout the book as well. This book is an excellent documentation of how many people lived during this era. Things were very similar as they are today. Families faced hardships and financial problems. Sometimes my generation isn't aware of how things used to be as we are spoiled with re-runs of Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best. This book captures the reality a real family lived and how they overcame what life threw at them.
The movie is pretty spectacular too!