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There’s a Thelma Knobel in everyone’s life. She’s the person taking charge-- the one who knows instinctively how things should be. Today, Thelma would be described as an alpha personality. But while growing up, her daughter, Peggy, saw her as a dictator– albeit a benevolent, loving one. They clashed from the beginning– Peggy, the horse-crazy tomboy, and Thelma, a genteel controlling mother, committed to raising two refined, ladylike daughters.
When major league baseball came to town in the early 1950s and turned sophisticated Thelma into a crazed Baltimore Orioles groupie, nobody was more surprised and embarrassed than Peggy. Life became a series of compromises– Thelma tolerating a daughter who pitched manure and galloped the countryside, while Peggy learned to tolerate the whacky Orioles fan who threw her underwear at the TV, shouted insults at umpires, and lived by the orange and black schedule taped to the refrigerator door...
A Message from Mike Rowe:
Just to be clear, About My Mother… is a book about my grandmother, written by my mother. That’s not to say About My Mother… is not about my mother – it is. In fact, About My Mother… is as much about my mother as it is about my grandmother. In that sense, it’s really a book about my “mothers.” It is not, however, a book written by me. True, I did write the foreword, and yes – I’m clearly pictured (in the photo displayed above) holding up a copy of a book called About My Mother… But that doesn’t mean I’ve written a book about my mother. I haven’t. Nor does it mean my mother’s book is about her son. It isn’t. It’s about my grandmother. And my mother. Just to be clear.
You’ll be relieved to know my mother writes with more clarity than I. The stories in this book are filled with warmth and humor and lots of nostalgia for days gone by - pretty much everything I expected to find in a book about my Nana – the most interesting woman who ever lived. But there’s also comfort in these pages. Comfort for every daughter who concluded her mother was from another planet. Comfort for every mother who concluded her daughter must have been switched at birth. Take it from me – a hopelessly biased son with no wife, no daughters, and no sisters – this is the best mother/daughter book I’ve ever read. And the best Foreword I’ve ever written.