"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Population: 485 by Michael Perry

Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time

Michael Perry returns back to his home town, New Auburn, Wisconsin.  A town in Northwestern Wisconsin, Population 485.  He left 10 years ago and landed in Wyoming were he worked as a cowboy and put himself through nursing school.  

Now he is home, has bought a house on Main Street and is happy to be closer to his mother and brothers.  Both his brothers belong to the fire department and his mother is a first responder for the area.  Michael decides the best way to reconnect with the community is to join the fire department and use his nursing training to study to become an EMT and his mother joins him in the class.

This is your typical small town, everyone knows everything about everybody, and Michael thinks it's the perfect place to write.  Using the emergency calls, grass and chimney fires, accidents and dinners as background for his stories he brings the little town to life on the pages of this book.  Humor and tragedy, heartbreak and devastating heartache we meet Michael's  neighbors one siren at a time.

I had several reasons for wanting to read this book. First, when I started this blog I challenged myself to read books written by Wisconsin authors or that used Wisconsin as the setting for the story.  This books meets both those requirements.

Secondly, I am from a small town in Wisconsin, a little bigger than New Auburn, but growing up there was pure joy and at that time, everyone knew everything about everybody.  That town has changed and grown and is no longer the town of my memories.

 James L. Boness, my dad

Also while growing up in that small town, my father was a fireman, later the fire chief, and when the fire department was in charge of the ambulance service he was the equivalent of what is now an EMT or First Responder.  He even had the Fire Training School at Madison Area Technical College dedicated to him just 2 weeks after he died.

The stories in this book were wonderfully told and brought back so many memories.  It prompted a call to my sister who had also read the book some time ago and we spent an hour reminiscing about our dad, who passed away in 1988, some of the stories were so funny, we wish we could write a book.  Thank you Michael Perry for writing this book and giving us our Dad back for a few minutes.
Michael Perry has the gift of storytelling and anyone who likes to read about life in a small town, firefighters, EMTs, or anyone who believes in giving back will appreciate and truly enjoy this book.  If you would just like to read a good story told by a fresh voice you will like this book.

Note:  This book was published in 2002 and new copies of this book may be hard to find but there are plenty used copies available at both Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com.


This book was from my private collection.  No compensation was received.

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