Ken will be awarding a $25 Starbucks GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour by clicking on the bookcover.
by Ken Floro III
Every group of friends can laugh about the stupid things they’ve done together. Unfortunately, to enjoy most such stories you ‘had to be there’, or you ‘have to know so-and-so’. Well, have no fear, because these stories were written specifically to take you there and introduce you to so-and-so. That way you can share our misadventures.
My friends and I are the Southside Cavaliers – a crew of misfits and trouble-makers lucky enough to have fallen into each other’s company. In the decades we’ve been kicking around this dusty planet together, we’ve instigated more than a few memorable shenanigans, like attempting to set off a ‘harmless’ little homemade bomb during French class, sharing a light-hearted stabbing, hunting for a legendary long-lost classmate, getting cosmically busted for academic fraud, serving up tainted baked goods, and investigating the mystery of a decades-old defecation. Share a laugh at our expense with this collection of embarrassingly true stories.
The fact that I stood alone on the curb that day, opposite a mob, certainly matched the way I felt when John suddenly bolted out of that crowd during a lull in traffic. I’ll never forget the way he looked as he came charging across the street at me. His arms were pistons of justice, pumping intently, and his trench coat fluttered in his wake – the cape of a superhero rushing to right some dastardly wrong! Behind him, an eager audience thrilled a predictable, “Oooooh!” in anticipation. Everyone knew what was coming.
I couldn’t run. Part of the reason was that I knew I deserved whatever John was about to do to me. Another part was that I’d never been in a real fight and didn’t know how to react. But perhaps the most important part was that my bus stop was in someone’s front yard and the only thing behind me was a residential neighborhood with yards partitioned by endless chain link fences; even if I’d tried to run, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere fast. So I just stood there and waited.
Review **** ( way good)
This is the third non-fiction book of detailing the adventures of Southside Cavaliers by Ken Fiero. The series revolves around the neighborhood gang. If a reader could combine the television show Welcome Back Kotter, Twain’s Huck Finn, and about every song, Billy Joel wrote reflective of his misspent youth, you might get Southside Cavaliers.
Mr. Fiero doesn’t pull any punches in his tales, nor does he embellish them. Instead, his tales involve everymen who are picked on by bullies, snubbed by females, and concoct hare-brained schemes and conclude they’re brilliant. The author manages to reach back and explain why indefensible behavior made perfect sense at that time. This is an underrated skill, but Fiero seems to have more than his share.
All of the Southside Cavaliers tales would delight men of the ages of twelve and over, although it is a book aimed at adults. It helps teens to realize their fathers, brothers, and cousins were (gasp!) like them. It is a nice touch of nostalgia for the boys (men) who did grow up. It would make an excellent Christmas present too.
The Southside Cavaliers Grow Up a Little is a light-hearted memoir that is easy to read. It also has a helpful character list in the front for those who haven’t read the previous two books. Two Thumbs up and Four Stars for Southside Cavaliers.
Ken was born and raised in the Southside of Saint Louis. After earning a degree in World Literature, followed by a degree in Culinary Arts, Ken soon made the obvious career move and went to work in medicine, because a little taste of reality can suddenly turn a healthy paycheck, normal working hours, and long-term job security into sumptuous delicacies. Despite the change in his employment trajectory, Ken never turned away from his dream of writing. He’d nurtured a lifelong creative ambition, which had gained direction when a funny true story he wrote for a high school English class became so popular with his classmates they traded copies of it in the hall and passed them up and down the bus. Ever since that catalytic moment, Ken has been writing as a hobby and a passion. Thus far, he’s published eight books, along with several other tidbits, all of which are available on his website, southsidecavaliers.com.
My website: http://southsidecavaliers.com/
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My Twitter Handle: @SouthsideKen