The Ripest Moments is a simple pleasure to read. While reading this memoir of growing up in the 40s and 50s in Jasper and rural Dubois County, Indiana, I found myself reminded over and over again of my own childhood in northern Indiana, and the cousins, aunts, and uncles we'd often visit in Ohio and West Virginia.
While this is primarily a book about place, and family, it's also a book about community, and the work ethic that built communities like Jasper - and like Evansville, for that matter - with materials and stock that, in the author's words, were "one generation removed from the farm, two or three generations removed from Germany, and a hundred years beyond the wilderness."
As the title suggests, there's quite a bit remembered about the importance of gardens, orchards, and farms in this book. Family garden plots were central to the survival of pre-suburban, working families. "Summers on the Farm," "The Rye Field," and "The Garden and the Strawberry Patch" are just a few of the more mouth-watering chapters.
If you were born & raised in southern Indiana, you'll find something familiar, and likely something warm, in this book. But even if you're a transplant, this book may speak to you. Quoting the author's preface: "I have always believed that any story set deeply in one time and place, if told well, speaks for other times, places, and people. To put it another way, a sense of time and place travels well. A life lived deeply anywhere resonates beyond the context of its specifics."
This one resonated with me.
The author's website.