New Publication by Darrell Reeck, Ph.D
Just published: Growing Green Two Ways!
Memoir examines a 1940s boyhood spent in the Pacific Northwest
Dec. 17, 2013 — Pacific Northwest native and former University of Puget Sound professor Darrell Reeck, Ph.D., looks back at his childhood and the world that encapsulated it in Growing Green Two Ways!, his just-published memoirs of growing up in Western Washington at a time when the region still had characteristics of the frontier but was increasingly urban, industrial and militaristic.
The book is a warm and nostalgic coming-of-age story that chronicles Reeck’s boyhood adventures from 1939 in a working-class Tacoma neighborhood to 1960 in Seattle and its preparations for the World’s Fair. Reeck describes the freedoms and fears of this momentous time in history while telling tales of fishing alongside whales, hunting bears, mountain climbing, fishing, berry picking, forest firefighting, working in a canning factory and camping in the great outdoors.
Reeck also recounts the immigration of his ancestors to the region as well as the transition his parents made in moving from the dry side of Washington State, with its wheat fields and cattle ranches, to the “wet side” on the shores of Puget Sound. He describes in amazing detail the Tacoma neighborhood where he grew up and the family members, friends, neighbors, teachers and mentors who influenced him.
“Tacoma’s Oakland neighborhood was Darrell Reeck’s base from birth to age 13, until the family moved to University Place,” said former Washington State Rep. Dennis Flannigan. “Historians memorializing Tacoma overlook Oakland, a forgotten patch of fewer than 500 homes, just south of 38th and Center Street. In Growing Green Two Ways!, Darrell reflects on this neighborhood and how it influenced his childhood, life and dreams. It was a cap-gun cowboy childhood in a world without soccer moms, movie blockbusters or too-busy dads. This memoir illustrates how place and family affect lives, how community counts.”
Throughout the book, Reeck also reflects on the instruction he received from and often questioned within the church, which was an important part of his boyhood experience and formed the basis of his lifelong work. Reeck before his retirement was a professor of religion and United Methodist pastor.
Reeck, who has published several academic books and articles in the past, felt compelled to write Growing Green Two Ways! because the collected stories occupy a precipitous time in history.
“The period (1940 to 1960) was quite unique in the Pacific Northwest,” Reeck said. “I wanted to tell stories of people and places emerging from the frontier into an urbanized way of life. My childhood provided me with opportunities to explore the frontier past and the urban future without leaving my city. I’ve told these stories to my family. They’ve said, ‘Dad, you’ve just got to write about the people you knew and places you explored.’ “
Reeck added that Growing Green Two Ways! “brewed” for nearly three years before he wrote it and is Part One of a pair of memoirs.
“In the second piece, I, the self-confessed frontier hick, explore Old World Europe, still recovering from World War II, and West Africa in the throes of anti-colonialism,” Reeck explained. “I come back transformed from roaming the world—more global in outlook and more clear about my purpose in life.”
Reeck holds a doctorate degree in religious studies from Boston University and served for many years as a professor and administrator at the University of Puget Sound. He has provided interim ministry for four congregations in the Seattle area. He also has worked in money management at three companies, including the United Methodist Development Fund in New York City and Portfolio 21 Investments in Portland, Ore.
Growing Green Two Ways! currently is available at Amazon.com in print and on Kindle. Additional information about the book and author can be found at www.darrellreeck.com.
Reeck’s other publications include Ethics for the Profession: A Christian Perspective and Deep Mende: Religious interactions in a changing African rural society, also found at Amazon.com.