Hometown memories go from post to page in new book

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Image courtesy Bruce Wallace
Copies of “Growing Up in Simpler Times” will be available for purchase and author signatures Saturday at Fort Street Brewery. Longtime resident and former police officer Don Wallace turned his online hobby into a printed memoir of growing up in the city.

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — Don’t get Don Wallace started on what it was like to grow up, live in and work for the city as a police officer for the better part of his 80 years. He might just write a book.

Wallace, now retired and living in Tennessee, has done just that. Encouraged by family, friends and followers of his hometown memoirs as posted on Facebook, Wallace will sign copies of his book, “Growing Up in Simpler Times … Memories of Lincoln Park,” during a book-signing party from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Fort Street Brewery, 1660 Fort St.

“Growing Up in Simpler Times” is a collection of short stories dating back to Wallace’s Lincoln Park childhood in the 1930s and ’40s, when young men worked the hometown mill before, like Wallace, he left to join the U.S. Army in 1949. Within a few months Wallace was wounded, at age 18, in Korea.

Back home, Wallace soon began what became two decades worth of service as a Lincoln Park police officer, during which time he met and married Lincoln Park native Jean Shadrick. The couple raised their three children — Patti, Donald and Bruce — in the city they loved to call “home.”

Two years ago, Wallace was given a laptop computer and soon took to social networks where he posted, along with memories of favorite songs or TV shows, flashback tales from days gone by: The city’s landmarks, notable personalities and events as seen through his experienced eyes caught people’s attention. Wallace was asked for more stories, had memories prompted by others and accepted the encouragement to put his gift to work. Wallace’s son Bruce helped edit and coordinate the publishing of “Growing Up in Simpler Times.”

Reservations are requested for the book-signing. For information contact Bruce Wallace at 248-895-7285 or via Bruce_Wallace@comcast.net.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

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