In a figurative sense, Boerman always wanted to rise above his humble beginnings in the samll Dutch Reformed farming community of Oakland, Michigan, in the fifties and sixties. "Maybe someday I would be able to soar above my childhood experience,"
As a smart boy who lacked a friendly personality and athletic skill, he struggled to fit in. It was easier to stay on the isolated farm with his parents and his two sisters and work alongside his dad, learning how to plow the fields and take pigs to auction. Life revolved around the farm, education in the two-room Pershing School, and religious instruction at the Oakland Christian Reformed Church.
Life also offered its share of hard knocks, including getting his tonsils taken out, learning the hard way that picking pickles wouldn't get him rich, and losing beloved pets. His memoir balances accounts of these growing pains with uplifting tales of sledding, going to vacation Bible school, enjoying his BB and pellet guns, surviving a blizzard, and playing his cornet in the marching band at the inauguration of President Richard Nixon.
"Whether good or bad, these memories have stayed with me all of these years," Boerman writes. "And I became a better and stronger person because of them." Regarding writing his memoir, he says, "The farm boy has returned home and, in so doing, has rediscovered himself and the significance of his rural Christian heritage."