Hilarious Tales of Growing Up Poor and Black in America

Hilarious Tales of Growing Up Poor and Black in America

“Half Moons, Pickled Pig Feet, Malt Liquor & Menthols: South Side Life and Welcome to It” by Perry Drake is a highly comical 254-page collection of semi-fictional sketches and stories that have been released worldwide. The book serves up funny, nostalgic and heartwarming tales inspired by the author’s childhood that echo those of great humorists like James Thurber and Jean Shepherd, author of the beloved holiday classic, “A Christmas Story.”

Drake paints a whimsical portrait of the frustrations, eccentricities, and formative experiences of the people he grew up around on the South Side of Syracuse, N.Y. With plenty of laughs, quirky individuals and reflective moments, the tales offer a unique and entertaining perspective on life among the low-income in “The ‘Cuse.” These stories, each headlined with a song title evoking the era, present a hopeful, amusing, triumphant account of growing up black and poor – a refreshing departure from most narratives focusing solely on the trauma, despair and never-ending struggle of being poor and black in America. 

The musings span two decades of Drake’s life, from kindergarten through college. It delves into universal themes of friendship, family, first love, self-discovery and “coming of age.” These themes and the hilarious moments surrounding formative experiences make the book relatable for audiences of all backgrounds, emphasizing the universal nature of the human experience.

The author’s deep-rooted love for his hometown is palpable in each section, with stories intricately woven into the fabric of life in Syracuse and Upstate New York, its neighborhoods, and the landmarks that shaped the author’s childhood. This personal connection adds a layer of authenticity and relatability to the narratives, making them resonate with readers on a deeper level. 

Brilliantly written, raucously funny, and an endearing portrait of making the most of life’s circumstances, Drake’s collection reminds readers that a sense of humor and the love and support of family and friends can overcome all trouble and sorrow.

Half Moons, Pickled Pig Feet, Malt Liquor & Menthols: South Side Life and Welcome to It (ISBN: 9781962987936) can be purchased through retailers worldwide, including Barnes and Noble and Amazon. The paperback retails for $16.99, and the eBook retails for $9.99. Review copies and interviews are available upon request.

From the back cover:

Perry Drake is a former editor, journalist and public relations specialist. He served stints at two of the nation’s oldest, most respected Black newspapers: the Chicago Defender and the Atlanta Daily World. He also served as an entertainment reporter at the defunct Dailey News in Atlanta and as an editor at the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Ill, and the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Green Bay, Wis. (and, no, he’s not a Packer fan) and as a writer and editor on the Web and at various smaller newspapers and radio stations in Tuskegee, Ala., and Akron, Ohio. His passions include his beloved hometown, Syracuse, N.Y.; history, humor, non-fiction and that little round plastic thing left at the mouth of a bottle of water after you twist the cap off.

Perry welcomes your expressions of love, admiration, hate and ill will at prrydrake@yahoo.com, or you can reach him on Facebook at Perry.Drake.10@facebook.com.

About MindStir Media:

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