* Bill Bryson traced his childhood in 1950s America, relating an all-American experience in Des Moines, Iowa.
* Bryson used his alter ego, the Thunderbolt Kid, and his humorous reminisces to illuminate the concerns, preoccupations, and joys of a nation and a young boy.
* Bryson's father like to practice isometrics and used to do them while on airplanes.
* Bryson's father worked as a sports writer for The Des Moines Register and sometimes Bryson got to accompany his father to Major League ballgames and meet celebrity ball players.
* America was experiencing an economic boom in the 1950s and people bought items such as washing machines, vacuums and refrigerators.
* People looked toward the future and imagined space colonies and underwater cities.
* 1951 was not a very eventful year; Harry Truman was president and the country was at war with Korea.
* Bryson was born December 8, 1951.
* Bryson had an older sister, Betty, and...
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