Friend's Email: Subject:I have found a book that I think you would enjoy
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids On 25 Words Or Less
The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio How My Mother Raised 10 Kids On 25 Words Or Less Author:Terry Ryan The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio introduces Evelyn Ryan, an enterprising woman who kept poverty at bay with wit, poetry, and perfect prose during the "contest era" of the 1950s and 1960s. Stepping back into a time when fledgling advertising agencies were active partners with consumers, Terry Ryan tells how her mother kept the family afloat by ... more »writing jingles and contest entries. Mom's winning ways defied the church, her alcoholic husband, and antiquated views of housewives. To her, flouting convention was a small price to pay when it come to securing a happy home for her six sons and four daughters. Evelyn, who would surely be a Madison Avenue executive if she were working today, composed her jingles not in the boardroom, but at the ironing board. Evelyn Ryan won every appliance her family ever owned by entering contests. It wasn't just the winning that was miraculous; it was the timing. If a toaster died, one was sure to arrive in the mail from a forgotten contest. Graced with a rare appreciation for life's inherent hilarity, Evelyn turned every financial challenge into an opportunity for fun and profit. From her frenetic supermarket shopping spree -- worth $3,000 today -- to her clever entries worthy of Erma Bombeck, Dorothy Parker, and Ogden Nash, Evelyn Ryan's story shows how a winning spirit will triumph over the poverty of circumstance. 4.5 hours on 3 cassetttes.« less
While the blurb on the back of the book describes the book perfectly, I was most impressed by this woman, who after raising 10 kids and sending them all off to college on full scholarships, continued to support her husband while he eventually became a better man. He banked every penny of his pension as she supported him in retirement, and surprised her with a gift of it all, upon his death. It was so much money that she was able to live and travel off the interest and her own pension, and leave the total amount to her kids!
Blurb on the back of the book: "This plucky middle American chronicle, starring an unsinkable, relentlessly resourceful mother and her Madison Avenue-style magic, succeeds on many leels -- as a tale of family spirit triumphing over penury, as a history of mid-century American consumerism, and as a memoir about a woman who was both ahead of her time and unable to escape it." --- The New Yorker
What a great find! I picked this book up at the Salvation Army and loved it! It is the true story of a woman who supported her family of 10 kids by doing what she did best- write jingles or finish a line in 25 words or less. She was a gifted writer and she won many prizes to prove it; two cars, numerous trips, bicycles, toys, kitchen appliances and a boat-load of money- all used to support her family. She was a hero to her kids and a true inspiration to the rest of us.
hickgal - reviewed The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids On 25 Words Or Less on
Helpful Score: 2
Although a lot of this book was heartbreaking it was also funny and touching. The mother was a genius at writing jingles and ad lines. She did what what she did best to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.