Sticks, Stones, & Songs is the true tale of a family of twelve that survives—even thrives—in mid-century rural America on half a ration, two-fold ingenuity, and undeniable faith.
This historically-documented book will engage anyone who enjoys an honest, humorous portrayal of country life amidst trials of the Depression, World War II, and the years following.
The author’s father, Arthur Corey, comes from respectable stock, God-honoring, community-centered and self-made. When he goes off the deep end of religion to become an itinerate preacher, his relatives don’t understand. Nor does Margaret his wife, nor does her extended family—at least for a time.
The story is told in three parts: Chronicle One begins in 1937 with Arthur’s purchase of a grange hall–a derelict, drafty, long-deserted building–destined to become the Grange House into which babies, including the author, are born…one after another, after another. The children grow up within the shadow of a father’s strong character and unpredictable style, and under the tutelage of their faithful mother, all the while living without electricity next to an outhouse where catalogs are used instead of toilet paper. This clan becomes skilled in facing challenges with grit, in adapting throw-aways into tools, and in building experiences into strengths.
Chronicle Two is the author’s first-person story beginning with her earliest memory. The memory of taking apart the Grange House, while living in it, and carrying it down the highway piece by piece to build a barn-like temporary shack that becomes the Farmhouse. During the next twelve years, the family grows by two more babies, some in-laws, and multiple foster children. All the while working toward the day that: We finally have a real house.
Chronicle Three brings the entire clan together for the first time in 27 years at a family reunion—a time of re-acquaintance, restoration, and renewal.