Gone the Hard Road: A Memoir. Author(s): Martin, Lee ISBN: 9780253053862 Format: Hardcover Publisher: Indiana University Press Year: 202105


No matter how far I’ve come from the country kid I was, I can never forget the family we were: my kind mother, who loved books; my wounded father whose intense love often got swallowed up inside his rage; and me, the only child, eager to escape my life and to immerse myself in someone else’s story. Whenever we drove the hard road, I often found myself imagining all the places that lay beyond it, and wondering if, given the chance, I might someday see them, might move beyond those gravel roads, might leave behind me the dust and the fields, might finally know exactly where I belonged. I fell in love with books and the life of the imagination at an early age, and because of that, the world opened to me. I can still see myself sitting beside my mother in Doc Stoll’s waiting room, a Highlights for Children magazine open between us. She holds one side of it. I hold the other. That magazine, with its features like “The Timbertoes,” “The Bear Family,” “Hidden Pictures,” “Goofus and Gallant,” and its pages of jokes, riddles, puzzles, stories, and poems is the only thing good about my visits to the doctor’s office. When the nurse finally calls my name, and my mother takes my hand, I hate more than anything, having to leave the magazine behind for some other little boy or girl.


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