Missouri native, Don Alderman, always regretted not visiting his father for one final goodbye on the morning he left town to begin life on his own. That was in 1956. Only months later, in 1957, his father died, and that goodbye was left unsaid. Now, half a century later, the author makes amends in Letters to Jud, a sensitive, funny, and sometimes scary coming-of-age tale of life in a quirky little town at the edge of the Missouri Ozarks.
The narrative is told in two dozen letters written to the spirit of the author's father, Jud Alderman, depot agent for the Frisco Railroad. The setting is Republic, Missouri, in the years just before, during, and after World War II. Initially seen through a young boy's eyes, the narrative ends years later when the author returns to his hometown as a grown man and discovers that his father's beloved old depot has vanished, and with it, the last symbol of his family's years in Republic.
Letters to Jud is an engaging portrait of a classically American small town experience. It is a tale that offers relief from the coarseness of our culture today- an antidote that can be taken as often as needed.