My library received an interesting donation, Riding Over Hills and Valleys: Reflections from a Baby Boomer, memoir written by a former resident of Western Springs. After early years in Chicago, seven year old Joyce Elizabeth Trost moved with her family to the Springdale neighborhood in 1957. She attended Western Springs schools and Lyons Township High School before entering the University of Illinois in 1967. Most of her memories of the village date before 1970. Her mother remained in Western Spring until she was killed in a car accident in 1973. Perhaps some long-time residents remember Trost or her family.
You do not have to have been in the village in the 1950s and 1960s to enjoy the book. Newer residents can enjoy learning about Western Spring and the Chicago area before they came, and any reader can connect with Trost's general memories of major events, such as the assassination of President Kennedy, the Civil Rights Movement, the moon landing, the Vietnam War, and the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. These events provide a context for Trost's life, as does her love of popular culture.
A recent trend in public library programs is the presenting of workshops or hosting of interest groups for memoir writing. As I read Trost's book, I wondered if she has taken part in such groups. She has a good sense of how to mix personal stories with the universal themes, making her memoir one with which many of us can identify. Moreover, she seems to be someone open to talking about her tragedies and misdeeds as well as her successes. The Library is adding her enjoyable memoir to its biography collection.
Trost, Joyce Elizabeth. Riding Over Hills and Valleys: Reflections from a Baby Boomer. Bookstand Publishing, 2011. ISBN 9781589098749.