This collection of humorous short stories by Gilbert E. “Bud” Schill Jr., John W. “Mac” MacIlroy, Robert D. “Rob” Hamilton III is a book to be picked up time and again.
You will laugh, roll your eyes and shake your head and maybe even see a bit of yourself as a youngster. You might even cry, but there is nothing sad in this book. It will be from laughing hard at the antics of these childhood friends.
In small-town America in the 1950s, everyone knew everyone, connections and relationships were based on generational familiarity and these young boys had a long leash, or more accurately, no leash at all.
Thus evolves a wide-open canvas for adventure, risk-taking and the time to follow through on every ill-advised “fun” idea that defines the essence of adolescent males.
Unabashedly describing themselves as “…goofballs and magnets for mischief. Pinheads, really,” Bud, Mac and Rob survived to tell their tales decades later. For those who grew up in the ’50s and ’60s, the stories might sound familiar.
Pat Conroy described “Not Exactly Rocket Scientists” as “A great book about friendship, growing up in the fifties and a lost America that will never come again.”
Perhaps because it will never come again, these authors felt it was important to put into words their stories of growing up in that special time in America, sandwiched between the end of WWII and the evolution of the Vietnam War, increased inflation and the social unrest that marked the decades of the ’60s and ’70s.
Readers will be glad they took the time to share their stories. In chapters such as “Banned for Life,” “Mister, I Can’t Even See You,” and “The Great Cross Disaster,” you will wonder how in the world these three best friends made it through childhood.
But despite their hijinks and limited social skills, the authors not only survived but thrived, managed illustrious careers, and are still friends today.
This book would make an ideal gift for the younger generation as a bridge to greater understanding of a father or grandfather as a young boy growing up and the events and social mores that made them who they are today.
As a gift for anyone who experienced the ’50s, it is a laugh-filled, nostalgic journey.
MacIlroy is retired from his career as an attorney, CEO and adjunct professor and now lives in Bluffton. Schill, a law professor, continues to practice and lives near Richmond, Va. Hamilton is an award-winning business professor and lives near Philadelphia.
For more information and to purchase the book, visit notexactlyrocket scientists.com.