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Hitchhiker: Stories from the Kentucky Homefront

by Bob Thompson foreword by Roberta Simpson Brown

Availablecloth$29.95s 978-0-8131-7428-0
166 pages  Pubdate:   5.5 x 8.5  25 b/w images

Growing up next door to his Granny’s country store in McCracken County, Kentucky, a very young Bob Thompson had unlimited access to the cold-drink box and shelves of candy. Only later did he realize that the greatest benefit of this arrangement was that his playmates and best friends were all adults who frequented the grocery. As he passed his childhood years on the store’s front porch, Thompson internalized the tales and folk traditions conveyed by his grandmother and her customers. These moments allowed him to discover his own passion for storytelling.

In Hitchhiker: Stories from the Kentucky Homefront, Thompson offers readers homegrown tales that interweave ghosts of the past with real and imagined worlds. The stories progress from his Tom Sawyer–esque childhood in Western Kentucky through his various incarnations as everything from an incense-burning flower-child hitchhiker to an unrepentant adventurer following the footsteps of Hemingway and the Lost Generation across Europe. This collection brings together coming-of-age tales, family stories of bygone eras, and even true accounts of unsolved murders and mysteries.

Hitchhiker is Huckleberry Finn meets The Twilight Zone, with just a taste of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. It is a book that will make you wish you’d paid closer attention to your grandparents’ and parents’ stories and photo albums, that you’d been less cautious and traveled more, that you’d followed your heart and made time to search for your guides and kindred spirits.

Bob Thompson is a writer, storyteller, engineer, handyman, tree hugger, and explorer of other dimensions. He is chairman and program director for E.A.R.S., which produces the Corn Island Storytelling Festival and the Kentucky Homefront Radio show.

Hitchhiker: Stories from the Kentucky Homefront is a set of heartfelt recollections of growing up, coming of age, and other adventures. It is a memoir of personal experiences and relationships with family and friends that sometimes play out in unexpected and bizarre ways. The author does not shy away from stories that directly connect life and death; loved ones gone on to the other side still affect us in a symmetry of circumstances that stretches beyond coincidence. -- Thomas Freese, author and storyteller

Hitchhiker: Stories from the Kentucky Homefront is not a onetime read. Hitchhiker invites emotions to flow, combats bullies, confronts ghosts and acknowledges that kindred spirits will find each other, if not in this life, another. -- Elliot County News

Fans of memoirs will enjoy traveling into the life of a rural Kentucky baby boomer. Fans of ghost stories will love that the journey is not limited to our tangible world. -- Mary Hamilton, storyteller and author of Kentucky Folktales: Revealing Stories, Truths, and Outright Lies

Ripping good born-to-raise-hell true-life yarns, told with great verve and enthusiasm. Bob Thompson is a welcome new voice in Western Kentucky writing. -- Ed McClanahan, author of Famous People I Have Known