In Where the Hell Is Turtle Creek? author Barrie Bartulski presents his honest and sometimes humorous memoir of his childhood in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania. He paints a portrait of a happy, unique childhood complete with mean teachers and close buddies. These stories capture the adventures of a group of children, from mixed ethnic and religious backgrounds, growing up in the 1940s and ’50s in Turtle Creek, a small town in western Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.
Most of the stories take place around Turtle Creek’s Saint Colman’s Catholic elementary school and the public junior and senior high school. The discipline administered by a few of the Sisters of Mercy at Saint Colman’s School was overly aggressive and would not happen today with the special training that teachers now receive. Bartulski shares it to illustrate an area that was much on the minds of children in those days. The Catholic Church has since banned all paddling—wonderful news but a little late for him and his pals.
He has lovingly captured a lost time, the time when a boy could be carefree and be mostly concerned about what games he and his pals were going to play that day. They are memories to be cherished and experienced time and time again, winningly recounted in Where the Hell is Turtle Creek?