The Stories From The Land Book Club July 2020 Selection is …

Limping Through Life: A Farm Boy’s Polio Memoir

Cover of Limping Through Life
Purchase at your local bookstore, or purchase on Amazon.
Purchase on Amazon


The publisher’s description of the book:
“In this most personal book, Jerry Apps, who contracted polio at age twelve, reveals how the disease affected him physically and emotionally, profoundly influencing his education, military service, and family life and setting him on the path to becoming a professional writer.”

How to participate in the book club?

Read the Book Club featured book.

Think about and react to the prompt questions below from the author.

Check back in regularly over the six weeks to see responses from other book club members and the author.

Monitor the author’s Facebook site for reminders about the Book Club. Visit https://www.facebook.com/jerryapps to follow the author on Facebook.

SOME QUESTIONS:

  1. Do you know anyone who had polio? What is their condition today? How have they coped as a polio survivor?
  2. How would you compare the polio epidemic with the current COVID-19 pandemic?
  3. Do you or do you know someone who remembers the polio epidemic (1945-1955)?
  4. During the polio years many public events were cancelled (county fairs)? How did people react?
  5. What thoughts do you have about the treatment Jerry received?
  6. What are your reactions as to how Jerry’s father took over the physical therapy treatment by using a “farmer approach?”
  7. What did you like about the book?
  8. What didn’t you like?
  9. Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

Write your answers in the “Reply” space below. The book club will continue, starting July 1 for six weeks. Jerry will respond to your questions on Friday of each week.

Links: www.jerryapps.com

Author’s Email: jerryappsauthor@gmail.com

Go to www.jerryapps.com for more information.

30 thoughts on “The Stories From The Land Book Club July 2020 Selection is …

  1. For those you who may have trouble finding my book–Limping Through Life–
    you can order it from the Friends of the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose—a fundraiser for them. Phone: 920-622-3835 for prices and ordering.
    Patterson Memorial Library
    500 Division Street
    Wild Rose, WI 54984
    barnard@wildroselibrary.
    http://www.wildroselibrary.org

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    • I so enjoyed your story about what it was like to live frugally on a farm. Like anyone growing up on a farm it seemed the work was never ending. Your father was wise in not letting you feel sorry for yourself for too long. My grandparents had a farm in the Garfield area. Having grown up in Amherst, I know now that there is nothing comparable to small town life. I look forward to reading more of your wonderful stories.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Everyone in our home community lived frugally at that time. None of us had much compared to what we take for granted today. But we were all in the same boat.

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  2. I have started reading and love it! I can’t seem to put it down. I do not know anyone who had polio–but my mother’s cousin did ( I just did not know her). My mom shared a few things but not much. As I am reading, I am seeing a lot of similarities to the current COVID-19 pandemic. It just must have been so different without this social media and never knowing what to believe. There seem to be so many unknowns with both. My mother remembers the polio epidemic, she says that they were told to be careful of the water and that is wasn’t contagious. (I think she means that Polio wasn’t “caught” like a cold).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the honest wisdom and work ethic of your parents. It seemed even though they were terrified of what this would mean for you, Jerry, or your family, or the farm, they just plowed on ahead. Who would have thought that driving a tractor and riding a bike and walking to school would be the physical therapy that would begin to unfreeze your leg? I also loved the scenes of your dad rubbing the liniment on your leg. I have a question about the community though. I know it was likely people kept their distance from your family, but did your neighbors and extended family offer their help in other ways? I was surprised nobody had crutches to lend you, but again, maybe people weren’t aware? I was also quite interested in our parents’ support of you going to college when it’s likely your dad really wanted you on the farm. The way your family worked hard that summer to raise the money for your room and board.Boy what your dad would think about tuition today! I understand why your mom didn’t make a big deal when she left you at the rooming house. But I will bet you she cried the first chance she got, when she was alone. It’s hard for a mom to leave a kid at college. Anyway, I am halfway through and really enjoying the story. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • These were very different times compared to today. Neighbors did help each other. But this polio thing was different. I really didn’t want people to know that I had polio–somehow the community sometimes had difficulty accepting people who were not physically fit.

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  4. Jerry, I hired a women at the store that I managed in Sioux Falls that had polio. She had a very noticeable limp but dressed so beautifully and fixed her hair so that when you saw her your eyes were drawn to her face and not her limp. She was a interior designer. Her husband left her because of her handicap . I always admired her and the way she dealt with life. I am enjoying reading your book for the second time.

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  5. Jerry, I hired a women at the store that I managed in Sioux Falls that had polio. She had a very noticeable limp but dressed so beautifully and fixed her hair so that when you saw her your eyes were drawn to her face and not her limp. She was a interior designer. Her husband left her because of her handicap . I always admired her and the way she dealt with life. I am enjoying reading your book for the second time.

    Like

  6. Hi, I am half way through the book and thoroughly enjoying it. At first I thought, “why didn’t you tell people?” But I can see that it was the times as you said in other comments and farm life needed everybody to do their share, so not being able to help would be a non-starter. Was there also fear that you and your family would be “shunned” because other people would be afraid that they would get it? Also, I have a question about Stormy the calf. He wouldn’t lead for you, but when your Father took over he walked right out. Had your Father worked with Stormy while you were sick without telling you? I have had horses for over 30 years and I know that my horse works (leads, backs up, etc) just fine with me, but when my friend who is not a horse person tried to work with him he basically just stood there!

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    • My dad had shown cattle at the county fair in the 1920s and knew a lot about teaching calves to lead. Stormy seemed to know that. Not too different from the horse you described/

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  7. Hi Jerry, I have finished “Limping Through Life” and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing your story. I grew up in a rural area in Sheboygan County Wisconsin and spent time on friends’ farms. And I was in 4-H. It was interesting to read the Extension side of 4-H. I have now started “Once a Professor”. It is nice to read the continuation of your career at UW-Madison. I have a book writing question. Both these books feel auto-biographical in that they detail your life from your childhood to today. But both of them are stated as a “memoir” in the sub-title. What is the difference between a memoir and a auto-biography? Thanks, Barb

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb, I am not an expert but my feeling is an autobiography would be the life story written by a person we would all know (Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin) and would detail significant events on the person’s timeline from birth until the time of the writing of the book. I feel that memoir would be written someone who is not known the world over (yet) but focuses on a particular theme (polio, farming, James Herriot’s books on being a vet, Jennifer Worth’s series on being a midwife). The book mostly would focus on that angle, and not every moment since birth. The reason the person is writing the book is to shine a light on that aspect of her life: being a teacher in Alaska in 1920 … and to pull you in because it’s so fascinating. We don’t know that person until we read the memoir. But if you were super famous, a president or stateswoman or actor known by many people, perhaps as your life slowed down someone would suggest it’s time to write your autobiography. Just my feeling. I wonder too if there isn’t a slight difference between memoir and memoirs with memoir being an unknown writing about her experience being a missionary in China, but memoirs being “what it was like being the first lady.”

      Like

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