Having been born on April Fool's Day, author Earl B. Russell likes to imagine that in an early sign of his precocious nature, the doctor dried him off, held him up for his mother to see, and then listened as the baby looked at his mother and exclaimed, "April Fool!" Russell's mother knew he was a problem child right off the bat. At first glance, his older brother told everyone Russell would never amount to anything-so much for making a good first impression! As his life began in a rural Tennessee farmhouse, disappointing both his mother and brother, he had nowhere to go but up.
In his tragicomic memoir, Russell traces his unimaginable post-World War II life in the American Heartland through zany and introspective accounts that reveal horrific tragedies, soul-searching life lessons, and amusing adventures. Beginning with his upbringing on a poor farm, Russell shares compelling narrative from his coming-of-age journey as he encounters unspeakable losses, revels in the joys of marriage and family, climbs the academic ladder, and confronts a forty-year-old family secret. Along the way, the problem-child-turned-adult finds himself in raw academic brawls in the halls of ivy, conferring with world-renowned retinal researchers, and crossing paths with astronaut Neil Armstrong, Mickey Mantle, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Charles.
Cold Turkey at Nine is an engaging story of resiliency, love, and one mischievous little boy's path as he explores how ordinary people deal with extraordinary circumstances.