A powerful and poignant memoir that doubles as an exploration of family ties, abandonment, forgiveness, and resilience…
Former university professor, the Director of Pupil Personnel Services and District Superintendent of Schools, and veteran author Garrahan chronicles his journey of rags-to-riches in this defiant memoir that probes dysfunctional family units, childhood trauma, poverty, and perseverance. Born into a highly dysfunctional family to a mentally unstable mother and absentee alcoholic father, Garrahan faced homelessness at age six. Garrahan and his siblings learned to support themselves, eating out of trashcans placed behind restaurants or stealing food. The pair of little brothers even became “shine boys” at railway platforms, city streets, and pubs, trying to earn a living polishing men’s shoe. Their father’s alcoholism and cruel philandering ways eventually took toll on their mother’s fragile mental state, sending her on the brink of insanity. Unable to provide for the kids, she tried to kill them but failed. The maniac episode sent her to a mental asylum for criminally insane for nine long years. With their father conspicuously absent, the siblings were separated and sent to live with their relatives. Garrahan spent five years staying at his uncle’s farm, but had to leave them after he graduated from high school. Back in New York, Garrahan found work at a local yacht club and graduated from college as a math and science teacher. But that was just a beginning for this extraordinary man’s journey to getting higher education; he went on to have a Master’s degree from Lehigh University and a doctorate in psychology at Columbia University, and a remarkable career as a university professor at the Graduate Faculty of Columbia University and Frostburg State University and later as the Director of Pupil Personnel Services, and eventually he served as the District Superintendent of Schools. A spirited, unwavering champion for the downtrodden, Garrahan continuously fought for deserving students’ rights and wiped cleaned the corrupted school system, often encountering deeply rooted prejudice of the privileged parents and colleagues (because of his troubled background) and overcoming tremendous obstacles. Readers will particularly revel in Garrahan’s “rouge-ish” ways as a little boy and a teenager later. The black and white photographs are a pleasure to look at. This is a vivid and revealing account of one common man’s pains, hardships, and remarkable achievements. This enthralling, deeply moving tale celebrates the power of hard work and perseverance. Anyone curious about an unprivileged young man’s tremendous struggles and sheer amount of hard work that went into making a remarkable, successful career and his rags-to-riches story will be captivated by this mesmerizing work. This memorable book with a resounding message shall grace reading shelves of every reader.
By Dr David Garrahan
Pub date July 2, 2020
Price $28.00 (USD) Paperback, $20 Hardcover
Categories: Non Fiction