Author writes about growing up in Piedmont Triad

Dec. 25, 2012 @ 01:00 AM

For baby boomers who grew up in the Piedmont Triad, local author Alice Sink’s latest book may read almost like an autobiography. That’s essentially what it is for Sink, who grew up in Lexington during the 1940s and ’50s.
The book, “Growing Up in the Piedmont Triad: Boomer Memories from Krispy Kreme to Coca-Cola Parties,” was published earlier this month.
“The idea behind the book, in a nutshell, is that the ’40s and ’50s were a very different social time,” Sink said. “Everything was family-oriented. Families sat around the table for meals — there was no take-out from Hardee’s or McDonald’s. Parties and dances were always chaperoned very carefully. It was a time where kids could play out in the street at night and run behind the DDT truck. Nobody locked their doors.”
That’s not to say the times were necessarily idealistic, though.
“Conversely, it was a time when a polio epidemic crippled children, kids got spankings for misbehaving, and it was an era where people were involved with World War II in one way or another,” Sink added.
In her book, Sink — a former writing instructor at High Point University who lives in Kernersville — captures what it was like to grow up in that era.
Do you remember...
•Saturday morning kiddie movies at the theater?
•Canning contests at the county fair?
•Summer hymn sings?
•Drive-in movies?
•Shopping at the dime store?
•Buying new cars and leaving the key in the ignition with no worry of theft?
•Television classics such as “The Lone Ranger,” “Strike It Rich” and the Groucho Marx game show “You Bet Your Life”?
It’s all covered in Sink’s ode to her growing-up years, complete with photographs from her own childhood and adolescence that will trigger memories of anyone who grew up in that era.
“For example, television was very different back then,” Sink said. “Not many people had TVs, but if you did have one, it was a tiny screen, black and white, in a huge console. I think there were only two channels in this area, and they signed off at midnight with the playing of the national anthem, then signed back on at 6 or 6:30 in the morning.”
She writes about going to the movie theater for the Saturday morning kiddie show that cost nine cents admission, and there was usually a talent show before the movie, with the winner receiving a free ticket to the next week’s kiddie show.
“That was glorious, because it was a whole nine cents,” she said with a chuckle.
Sink’s book also includes some nostalgic Triad recipes — anybody remember “Skeen Burgers”? — as well as a fun “Older Than Dirt” quiz to see how far back your memories go.
Sink, who taught writing courses at High Point University for 30 years, has published numerous nonfiction and fiction books. At HPU, she received the Meredith Clark Slane Distinguished Teaching/Service Award in 2002; and in 2007, she received a N.C. Arts Council grant to promote her writing.
jtomlin@hpe.com | 888-3579