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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:United States / State & Local / South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
  • Language:English
  • Pages:184
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781098395445
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098395391

Kids Don't Have Backs

A Memoir of My Florida Panhandle Childhood

by Tom Pelham View author's profile page

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Overview
Kids Don't Have Backs is a collection of stories by lawyer and former Secretary of the Florida Dept. of Community Affairs Tom Pelham, drawn from his memories of growing up in the late 1940's, 1950's, and early 1960's on a family farm in Holmes County, Florida, in the rural Florida Panhandle. It was a time of economic hardship and transformative change — electricity came to the area only in the mid 1950's. These stories bring to life, from a child's point of view, many aspects of this challenging and colorful time.
Description
Kids Don't Have Backs is a collection of stories by lawyer and former Secretary of the Florida Dept. of Community Affairs Tom Pelham, drawn from his memories of growing up in the late 1940's, 1950's, and early 1960's on a family farm in Holmes County, Florida, in the rural Florida Panhandle. It was a time of economic hardship and transformative change — electricity came to the area only in the mid 1950's. These stories bring to life, from a child's point of view, many aspects of this challenging and colorful time. Beginning farm life in 1947 in a two-room shanty with no electric lights, indoor plumbing, or air conditioning, and no tractors or modern farm equipment or vehicles to assist in working the land, the author's family, through backbreaking physical labor, ingenuity, and sheer will, overcame tremendous adversity to eventually expand the farm to 400 acres and build and move into a proper house with modern conveniences. The hard work created a thirst for pastimes, and the introduction of vehicles and electricity brought greater access to the outside world via picture shows, the sports pages, radio, and TV, propelling the author and his siblings to explore the world beyond the farm.
About the author
Thomas G. Pelham ("Tom") is a lawyer and certified planner. He grew up and worked on a family farm in Holmes County, Florida in the 1940's, 1950's, and early 1960's. This book is a memoir of Tom's life on the farm owned and operated by his parents and grandparents. After graduating from Holmes County High School in 1961, Tom received a B.A. degree in Government from Florida State University, a M.A. degree in Political Science from Duke University; a J.D degree in law from Florida State University; and a LL.M degree in law from Harvard University. Tom had a distinguished career as a lawyer, certified planner, teacher and writer. He was in private practice in Florida as a lawyer and planner for 28 years and is widely recognized as one of Florida's leading Environmental and Land Use lawyers. Tom served twice as Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs, the state land planning agency, and he is the only secretary to serve two terms under separate governors. Tom is a past President of the American Planning Association/Florida Chapter. In April 2012, Tom was inducted into the American Institute of Certified Planners College of Fellows, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Institute for outstanding contributions to the planning profession at the national and local levels. He taught for five years at the college level, two years at Prairie View A&M in Prairie View, Texas as a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Teaching Fellow and three years at the Southern Methodist University Law School. He has written extensively about Florida's land use planning laws for scholarly journals. He is author of State Land-Use Planning and Regulation published in 1979 by Lexington Books. Two of the chapters included in this memoir were previously published in the Seven Hills Review in 2018. Tom lives with his wife Vivian in Tallahassee, Florida, and they have two sons, Christopher and Evan.

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