Local Author’s New Book Captures Mystic Childhood

12 Jan 2024

Community Interest

It’s the 1940’s. A nine-year-old boy pedals his bike into downtown Mystic and races past the shops to his true destination: the boatyards. There, watching men assemble massive wooden hulls and towering masts, he hatches a plan – to build a rowboat of his own – but how?

In “A Boy Grows up in Mystic,” author William T.S. Butler captures the true story of his older brother, Dave, who worked to buy a bicycle for a paper route to fund building a rowboat in the family’s basement. 

“I deliberately chose the voice of a nine year old when I wrote the book,” said Butler, who grew up in Mystic and remembers details from his childhood – like the milkman from Consumer’s Dairy, ice brought down the hill from an ice house, and mail being delivered twice a day. And the names of shops – Kretzer’s, Mailhot’s Cleaners, Squadrito’s Barber Shop, and Bendetts.

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