John R. Burgoon Jr. recalls growing up in Depression-era Pennsylvania in this honest and heartfelt memoir. As an only child, he often felt like an intruder in his own home, and he struggled in school. But once school let out—and even more so during summer breaks—he had the opportunity to pursue adventure. His passion of working hard was evident even as a youngster, and he spent the summer after tenth grade helping to build a state park as a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps. When he returned home from CCC, he’d matured so much that he was suddenly Mr. Popular, and was mentioned in several yearbook categories. In a conversational, no-nonsense tone, Burgoon provides a glimpse of what it was like being an all-American kid in the 1920s and 1930s. Even though times were tough, there were still comic book characters, toys, music, cars, and yes, even girls during The First Seventeen.