I love it when my husband and I can click over a book. That is what Tarzan Wore Chaps by Woody Barlow did for us. My husband said it was one of the most refreshing books he has read in a long while. I think he has already loaned it out.
At our house, “refreshing” has to mean funny, in good quantity. Barlow’s coming-of-age memoir is about a kid growing up in Kansas. Facing polio and eye surgery at a tender age, the kid needs to develop a hyper imagination in defense. That imagination sprawls over the pages. His wild and free association had me running to my husband every time I couldn’t breathe for laughing. I don’t know what it must have been like to be Barlow’s mother, but the most challenging kids are the greatest to read about.
“Listen to this,” I told David so many times that he finally said, “Let me read that when you’re through.”
Tarzan Wore Chaps is character driven, not plot driven. I would love to know if Barlow really remembers all these details. I am going to guess it is on the level and that he has a great memory. I loved his explanation, given to a Sunday school teacher, of who John the Baptist is. Too bad kids get punished for such natural innocence!
Joanna, his sister, was someone I could also relate to since she believed her doll was real. Every girl who dressed her dog up and rocked it in a cradle, or who put her doll to bed hoping it would gurgle and thinking she heard it do so, will love this book. Anyone who wants to remember the simple innocent pleasures of childhood growing up in the fifties and sixties, when there were no video games or smart phones, will love this book. It was amazing how much trouble we all could get into anyway!