Where’s My Wand? One Boy’s Magical Triumph over Alienation and Shag Carpeting
by Eric Poole, published May 2010, read June 2010
First things first, I was alerted to this book’s existence on facebook, by a former high school classmate. Sally posted about this book, written by yet another high school classmate of ours(yay for the Class of 78). Honestly I knew Eric’s name, and I remembered him as tall, thin and in the band, and I didn’t know much else. It’s likely I was just as forgettable 32 years later, I was short, average, not part of any particular group and just one of over 700 in our graduating class.
What I did discover about Eric in this memoir is so much better than that faint image of a young man. Eric Poole was a quiet reserved boy, picked on, bullied and yet amid all that he found a place and a rich fantasy life that helped him to manage those bullies and a mom with OCD before it was likely named. Eric’s fascination with the TV show Bewitched and the outlandish mother in law, Endora, lead him to spend endless hours in his basement, conjuring up images of how his life should be, and hoping and praying that his “magic” would help him out. Eric’s relationship with his mother was typical of those we had growing up, mom’s were not our friends to hang out with, they were to be feared at times, and obeyed. His mom’s obsession with raking the carpeting and ironing the linens went beyond just good housekeeping.
Eric discovered much more about himself over those many years growing up. His memoir is written mostly about his pre-adolescent life, but takes us, the reader, up to his high school days, when things seem to come full circle for young Eric.
I laughed and cried and reminisced about a place and time we’ve grown so far away from. Our suburban St. Louis up bringing was very similar, though I missed most of the bullying, and sadly probably was one of those mean girls from time to time(hanging much older head in shame). The book took me back to my youth of no cell phones or video games, or i-pods, just 4 channels on the TV, and most of our homes only had one or two of those. We had FM radio and we didn’t know better and we liked it.
Eric is a writer with such a wonderful sense of humor and honesty it makes me want to share this book with everyone. I know the people in Barnes & Noble and Chick-fil-a heard me laughing and sighing the last couple of days.
I’ve rated this book a 5 out of 5, I loved it, it’s amazing. Most of all, it makes me wish I had known Eric better in our days at Hazelwood Central High School……….I missed out on so much.