TELLING IT LIKE IT WAS: My First Quarter Century by Lloyd Root is a vivid coming of age story and intimate portrait of what it was like to grow up as a "dual citizen" of the vibrant shipping port city of San Francisco in the 1920s and '30s, as well as the rural ranchland and mining communities nearby. Root's neighborhood included families of Italian, French, Irish, Mexican, Serbian, Greek descent, as well as a few other Basque families like his own, making it a fascinating place for a boy to grow up. Youngsters were drawn together by the sheer diversity of their various cultural and ethnic origins. Sports played an important role. Basketball, baseball, soccer, even games of "kick the can" became a driving force in forming relationships, developing skills, and instilling values. In a sense they provided a "preview" of the way the world works. Young Root, feisty with his fists and quick on his feet, thrived on playing ball in the streets during the days when there were no computers, television, video games and handheld devices to get in the way of sports. From his active and carefree childhood years of growing up Basque in a home filled with music, laughter, and love, to the far more serious realities of life at that time, all were formative. Of the latter, this included the rebirth of San Francisco in the aftermath of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire, the challenging years of the Great Depression, and coming of age in the era between World War I and II. It was a time of great change in terms of politics, culture, music, innovation and technology. The advent of telephones, radios, and automobiles, alone, vastly changed the way people lived. But for young Lloyd, it was aviation that had the most impact. Reading about Charles Lindbergh's triumphs in the newspapers he delivered, and watching Amelia Earhart fly across the nearly completed Golden Gate Bridge, went a long way toward fueling his boyhood passion to become a pilot, something he achieved by the time he was 25 years old. Along the way he helped his father make bathtub gin during Prohibition; followed in his father and grandfather's footsteps working in gold mines from Durango, Mexico to Nome, Alaska; discovered the joys of rousing women and music (often at the same time). As a firsthand account of a bygone era and coming of age during this exhilarating, but sobering time in history, TELLING IT LIKE IT WAS will resonate with readers because of the universal qualities of the experiences, insights and adventures he had along the way. Lloyd Root, a natural storyteller, is a warm, witty and wise man as well as a risque and rebellious one - both in the way he lived his first quarter century and how he tells his story. Never one to hold back from throwing a punch or speaking his mind, his is an original voice that is brutally honest. He tells it like it was."