8.26.2013

Review: Remembering America: Looking Back at the Last Innocent Age by Craig Daliessio






Title: Remembering America: Looking Back At The Last Innocent Age
Author: Craig Daliessio
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: The Morgan Group
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biographies/Memoirs
Pages: 242
Source: Paperback from Author

Rating:


Synopsis (from Amazon): "It's the place you'll always call home. The place you run to --if only in your memories-- when you've lost your way and your compass can't find True North" Where do you go when the wheels come off? When no place feels safe and you can't find a smiling face? When you've lost everything and you wonder if you'll ever get it back. Sometimes, you just need to go home. 

Do you remember when neighbors cared about each other because they really knew each other? Holding your baseball cap over your heart and singing the National Anthem on opening day of Little League because being American meant loving your country and showing respect? Do you remember Drive-in Movies, Spider Bikes with sissy bars and baseball cards in the spokes? Do you remember Tiger Beat magazine, Bobby Sherman and Davey Jones? Did Sunday Evening mean "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" and "The Wonderful World of Disney"? Do you remember a time and place in America when a kid could go outside on Saturday morning and stay out all day and nobody worried and nothing bad happened? When we walked to school, ran through the open yards where our moms were hanging out the clothes on a clothesline? Do you remember "The Carol Burnett Show" "Laugh-in" and "Happy Days"? When scary movies had legendary characters like Dracula or the Mummy or the Wolfman? 


Do you remember when our country was innocent...and so were we? "Remembering America: Looking Back at the Last Innocent Age" is a wonderful, sentimental, humorous, and emotional journey that takes one last look at the childhood of the last of the Baby-Boomers and their little brothers and sisters. If you grew up in the 60's and 70's, you'll fall in love with every story. The images are sweet and reminiscent of a different time...and what most would say was a better time. Author Craig Daliessio chronicled these wonderful stories during his own time of turmoil and homelessness after losing his career in the collapse in 2008. The memories, and images and words became his refuge during the most difficult and desperate time in his life. 


In his own words, Craig tells the "story of the story" "The only stories that didn't make me laugh with their silliness, were the ones that made me cry with their poignant sweetness. It was such a great time and a great period in America. My neighbors were my family and my friends and I walked together into adulthood with a bond that my own daughter will never know. I set out to simply chronicle the past in an effort to get a new grip on the future. What I wound up doing was revisiting the best time of my life and an America I miss more each day." It's an engaging, wistful, wonderful voyage to a sweet place in the hearts of those who were lucky enough to have grown up in "The Last Innocent Age"


 

     What a great memoir! Although I'm only on the verge of 26, I really enjoyed this thoughtful collaboration of stories from a simpler time America. I do recall living through the last leg of a few of the references Daliessio makes (Tiger Beat magazine, anyone?), whether it really was an innocent time, or I was too young and innocent to know better. Even so, I do find myself sitting here reading news stories, local and national, wondering, "has it always been this way?" Daliessio answers this question for me: No.

     In Remembering America, we are taken back in time where technology wasn't the dictator of our lives. You could go play with your friends all over the neighborhood for an entire day, without a cell phone, and still be safe. You knew your neighbors. You enjoyed the little things and didn't sweat the small stuff. 

     You can tell that Daliessio put his whole heart into this book. He dug deep into nostalgia and laid it on the table for the world to take and reminisce as well. Even though today's generation is less likely to experience this level of innocence, this book would be very insightful for them.

     If you're looking for some nostalgia and a little history, I would recommend this book for you.