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Author Shares Stories of High School Years in Quincy in the 50s

Driving the "loop" up Maine and down Broadway and stopping for a snack at Sandy's on 30th Street was an integral part of Roger Huff's high school years in Quincy.

He shares his memories in his latest installment of "Fresh Earthworms."

"Fresh Earthworms Taste Green (The Middle Years)" includes about 22 short stories, all reminiscences of his high school years growing up in Quincy in the '50s.

"Fresh Earthworms ... The Early Years" came out in 2005 and proved such a success that Huff had many requests to continue publishing his stories about life in Quincy.

"I wrote the first book just for fun. I wanted to write down my memories before I forgot them," Huff said. "I didn't anticipate it would be such a hit."

Huff's first "Earthworms" book tells how kids entertained themselves before the manufactured fun of TV and video games. In his second, Huff figures the statute of limitations has expired in 45 years and he can reveal some of his and his cohorts' pranks.

He tells tales of exploring Burton Cave by candlelight and picnicking on the big rock there at night; boating, skating and skiing on the river, also at night; and hanging out at the Barn.

"The Barn was a big deal," Huff recalls. "It was the only place kids could go with music."

The owner liked having afternoon parties with bands, particularly because there was a higher markup on sodas than booze.

Huff's stories on dating carry the humor of the "more or less usual" experiences of a teen. There was homecoming night, when he picked up his date in his small car. By the time she managed to squeeze in the crinoline-covered "wedding hoop" of her skirt, there was no room left for Huff.

Along with his stories of developing social skills, drive-ins and embarrassing dates, he weaves in some history and homespun philosophy of lessons learned. But mostly the book is just the fun of nostalgia, youthful mischief and humor.

Huff now lives in California. He became a writer after careers as a navy oceanographer, marine meteorologist and information technology group manager.

He has written more than 40 magazine articles and six books, including an international cookbook.


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