A very true and accurate story with some names changed to protect the guilty. Dennis Wayne Smith was born into a mining community in Alabama. His mother, with whom he suffers a strained relationship, has a nervous condition that his grandmother calls ‘running fits.’ His adventures here with classmates and friends are recalled as well as the racism he sees in both the North as well as the South. The family encounters hard times that cause his father to find work in Ohio when the Korean War starts and then the family later moves to Indiana. Dennis goes through his teenage years and first sexual experience. He joins the Navy, and has adventures in California and the Far East. After spending time in the Philippines his ship is ordered to the South Pacific to participate in nuclear weapons testing. This is a harrowing experience for Dennis and his shipmates with the Cuban missile crisis corresponding with the tests. His best friend dies during the tests. After four years in the Navy he returns to Indiana where things are still in turmoil.There are also adult situations in this book. They're not all through the book but if it happened or was said,it's in there.