Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Buffalo Gal

Buffalo Gal by Laura Pedersen

Laura Pedersen has written a wonderful memoir about growing up in Buffalo in the 70s and 80s. It is very funny and brings back so many memories. Laura depicts the snowy winters in Buffalo. Growing up in Toronto, I remember my parents yelling at us to turn down the thermostat because we were going to heat the whole neighbourhood. We used to change into our school clothes at night so we wouldn't have to change in the freezing cold of the morning. So much of her upbringing was a great trip down memory lane. There were the canning sessions and the surplus of apples in the fall. I had forgotten about the casseroles with Campbell's soup. I have eaten my fair share of those.

Buffalo Gal is a social history of Buffalo and the times. It is a time when you knew your neighbours and they did favours for you with no payback expected. There was a sense of community. Pedersen also talks about the industrial downturn and the plants shutting down.

Pedersen grew up with no parental interference. She basically parented herself. She was free to skip school. She made her own meals and even went to gamble across the river in Ontario. This is probably what gave her the independence to become the youngest person with a seat on the American Stock Exchange. She was very industrious and had a number of interesting money making schemes.

I found Buffalo Gal to be funny and full of one-liners. It reads like a great comedy sketch.

First Line: "I was fourteen years old when I first stepped onto the trading floor of the American Stock Exchange in downtown Manhattan"



1 comment:

Jeane said...

It sounds like a good book. Even for someone like me, who didn't grow up in Buffalo.