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Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers Rubber Town…

Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers Rubber Town (Ohio History and Culture) (2003)

by Joyce Dyer

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I took a while in reading this book in order to really soak up eveything I read. It was a detailed history of the Ohio Firestone indutry from the authors perspective as a girl growing into adolesence and adulthood. Although I could not identify with the majority of the book, the part that did hit home with me was the end, when her mother and father fell ill. The chapters about the battle with alzheimers was eerily similar to what I went through with my grandfather.

Overall, I felt the book was a bit slow, but is very well written. It is a beautiful story of learning that the people you look up to most, are usually the ones to let you down the most. ( )
1 vote sringle1202 | Apr 9, 2010 |
I found this a very interesting book. It shows how American icons are not what thery really seem. I found that Dyer's remembrances and then realizing the reality much later in life a real eye-opener.
It teaches us to think for ourselves and not to just take what the BIG guy says as literal. ( )
  imlilie | Dec 15, 2009 |
It began a bit slowly, I thought, but soon realized that Dyer was trying too hard to do perhaps too much in this book. Because she is trying to give you something of the history of Akron, as well as the history of the rubber industry and Firestone Tires in particular, while at the same time writing a memoir/biography combined. That's a pretty tall order for a book that runs just a little over two hundred pages. However, once she began to concentrate more on her father, the book picked up speed and chugged right along to its somewhat bitter end. I ended up admiring the book, as well as its author and her writing skills. The saddest part of this book - which is intended to be a tribute to her father, a thirty-seven year "company man" at Firestone - is not just the way that he was treated (used up and discarded) by Firestone, but the fact that Tom Coyne appeared ultimately to be a not very likeable guy, indeed a man without friends. Joyce Dyer is brutally objective in describing her father and paints him as a man lacking in the most basic of social graces and skills, a braggart and a loudmouth and probably something of a racist to boot. And yet she loved him and appreciates deeply the sacrifices he made for her, and has written this book to keep his memory alive. She certainly did not write it to praise Firestone. When she writes of her father's long slide downward in the good graces of the Firestone heirarchy and then of his final illness and death, I couldn't help but remember that line from Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, after Willy Loman has cashed in that life insurance he always kept up, the line spoken by his widow: "Attention must be paid!" Because that is what Joyce Dyer is saying in this portrayal of her late father, T.W. Coyne. By his deeds she shows, in spite of his many faults and shortcomings, how completely devoted he always was to her and her mother, and how he kept on working and doing the best he could, until his health gave out and he was finally forced to retire. This is not as happy a book as another Ohio memoir I read and enjoyed - Michael Dirda's An Open Book - but it is a blazingly honest and heartfelt tribute to a man who always loved his family. I plan to pass the book along to my wife, whose father labored for over forty years in the steel mills in the service of Ford Motor Company. I'm sure she'll find some things here to relate to. This is a good book. ( )
  TimBazzett | Dec 8, 2009 |
This was the book I had to read as a freshman entering college at the University of Akron. This is a fine book for anyone with a specialized interest in the rubber industry, Akron Ohio, or the rubber workers who lived there, but probably not an appropriate choice for freshman college students. ( )
1 vote BeverlyRose | Dec 11, 2007 |
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To break so vast a Heart Required a Blow as vast -- No Zephyr felled this Cedar straight -- 'Twas undeserved Blast -- ~Emily Dickinson
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