basil j papaharis
posts on 4/2/2007 11:24:56 AM
i just finished your wonderful book this past weekend.ihave a story for you.in 1975 i was a medical intern at bellevue hospital in nyc.at the time iwas working on the "chest service'.at that time a large % of our patients were homeless men with tuberculosis.as you might expect alcohol and a variety of psychiatric issues was common.a man in his late 40s was admitted with a very severe case of tb.he had lived on the street for about 8 years and was a heavy drinker.with a heavy beard and being malnourished he looked 20 years older.a week later,shaved,cleaned up and detoxed he looked like a new man.one day on rounds,we found him lying in bed listening to a small am/fm radio-his prized possesion.he was tuned in to the boston red sox baseball game.this got some of us a bit more interested.it took a week to get the story outof him.born in new england,moved to the seattle area,married with 4 daughters and owner of a prosperous lumber or maybe paper business.at some point he became"overwhelmed" and disappeared without a trace. his family never knew what became of him and the local police assumed the worst.after 2 weeks of putting us off one of the interns instituted a search and in a short time hit paydirt.a few days later we were astonished as his wife and 4 stunningly beautiful daughters arrived at bellevue hospital to see their dad who had long ago been given up for dead.it was one of the most emotional and inspirational events of the entire training experience.they stayed for 2 weeks.atthe end of that time he simply told them all how much he loved them but that he could never return to his former life.they eventually gave up,returned home and upon his hospital discharge returned to the streets. we never saw him again.again, thank you for telling your story.iam sure that you have heard from countless people who read your story and were inspired by it. listen to your husband-hes a smart guy.
basil j papaharis m.d.
posts on 4/2/2007 12:13:29 AM
I grew up in Williamson, about 50 miles from Welch. Your uncanny ability to describe the runoff from overnight rains on the streets brought back memories of delivering the "Herald Advertiser", a Huntington paper, before daylight to my sleeping neighbors. The list of memories you conjured up goes on and on.
I stumbled upon your book purely by accident, but without a doubt, it is the most poiniant (sic) I have ever read. I have read the (few) critical remarks on this site, and must disagree with those writers. While any author certainly is entitled to a little literary leeway, any you might have taken is far outweighed by the accuracy I detect in so many other details concerning family eperiences and details of Welch. I have driven through on US 52 many times, and remember the buildings with the entrance right on the sidewalk and the back third on stilts above the river bank. I have witnessed firsthand, the abject poverty in these towns.
In my opinion, what we missed out on culturally by growing up in the most depressed area of Appalachia was far outweighed by the memories of the special people who were the positive influences in our lives. I can think of any number of teachers and neighbors who are now gone, whom I wish I could talk with now.
I'm rambling here. Thank you for enriching my life through your writing. I look forward to the movie, and to more of your wonderful writing.
posts on 3/21/2007 5:00:51 PM
Miss Walls, I loved your book. I know you have heard this before but I am going to tell you anyway. I have four brothers and a sister, we lived in various places growing up, my mother was an alcoholic and we had numerous "daddies." We ended up living in a small coal minning town in Grantown WV. Our similarities were uncanny! I will say my siblings and I have strived for a better way of life or should I say different. We are all successful, with exception to the baby of the family. He remains with my Mother. My mother and I have a strained relationship. I am not bitter, I have forgiven her. We see each other occasionally and it works best that way. I look forward to more books in the future and also the movie. Yes, I remained in WV and my siblings all live abroad. I have children of my own and am happily married. You were in the state of WV at FSU. I am sorry i missed your appearance. If you ever want to hear my intresting story let me know!
posts on 3/16/2007 12:24:08 PM
I read your book for school and I fell in love with it! I stayed up every night trying to get as far as i could to see what happens. The Glass Castle easily became my favorite book. I fell into the book and felt like i was accually in it. It was an amazing read!!
posts on 3/14/2007 9:25:51 PM
I love this book and i am still reading it now. Your mother always did have the right things to say and she was right most of the time. I loved her the most right from the beginning. Although i cannot phantom living that life, Your mother, as well as your father were always teaching they gave of themselves in other way that most kids nowadays would learn so much from. We have a society of spoiled children who feel intitled to everything. Living such a life as you did certainly, would provide our children would with stronger sprirts. I think your story is wonderful and i am going to share it with my children. But im also interested in what ever became of your brother and sisters? Are they doing well now?
posts on 3/8/2007 9:02:06 AM
This book is going to stay in my memory for a long time. I can't praise it enough, and I admire Jeanette Walls for overcoming so many obstacles.
posts on 3/5/2007 5:19:17 PM
For some strange reason this has become my favorite book. I go to sleep thinking of how Janette slept, cold, hungary, rats, etc, and I con't believe it. The book is a worst fairy tale come true. It is thought provoking. Makes me thank my parents who, were both blind, made my childhood a memorable one. Your writing made me feel as if I was there with you. I looked up Welch and tried to visualize where you lived, the school, the street.
Thank you for writing this book! It is one of the best I have ever read.
You are a remarkable person.
posts on 2/16/2007 12:38:54 PM
After hearing Laura Bush tell about how much she enjoyed your book (she was on Rachel Ray's TV show) I had to read it! It is the best book that I've read in quite some time. The humor was great but also a certain sadness as to how a good family could be so dysfunctional and yet be happy in spite of it. Please write another book, you are an excellent story teller.
posts on 2/11/2007 4:01:20 PM
After reading your book, I had serious doubts about you living in Midland, until I found your picture in Mrs. Sturrocks kindergarten class and mention of your parents in the village newsletter. I'm sorry you didn't share the wonderful memories so many of us have of growing up there. Did your father ever show you our beautiful Castle Mountain? As children we never really know what our classmates homelife is really like. Midland has been gone for 40 years now, but many of us still return often and every two years we have a reunion to share our memories. I hope you have some good memories of your time spent here, and apparently by some, you and your sister are still remembered as their classmates.
posts on 2/11/2007 8:42:53 AM
Thank you for sharing your family's story. I had trouble picking the book back up three times. It upset me very much when your burns were not cared for properly, your dad took you to the bar outside of Welch and equally so when he took your money out of the piggy bank. My sister told me "Keep reading,it gets much better, those kids are amazing." You are. God bless.
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