Tom Pelham memoir charts childhood, chores on Panhandle Florida farm

As a resource into life in the emerging rural south, Tom Pelham’s “Kids Don’t Have Backs” (BookBaby, 2021) joins a growing list of well-written memoirs documenting the ordinary, often hard-scrabble, and usually overlooked lives of those who built the backbone of this country.

Many will recall the author’s name as he rose in professional stature to head the State of Florida’s Department of Community Affairs from 1987 through 2010. The agency’s mission sought to control the rampant suburbanization of valuable farmland where inadequate infrastructure existed to support the additional requirements of Florida’s burgeoning and essentially unregulated growth.

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