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Up on a Hill and Thereabouts
An Adirondack Childhood
Up on a Hill and Thereabouts
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Gloria Stubing Rist - Author
Excelsior Editions
Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 344 pages
Release Date: September 2013
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-4890-9


Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Childhood recollections of life in the Adirondack Mountains during the Great Depression.

In the 1930s, life for kids tucked away in the quiet woodlands of the Adirondack Mountains was rich with nature and filled with human characters. This captivating memoir contains the recollections of one woman who spent her childhood on the hillsides and in the woods near Ticonderoga. A child’s-eye view of days long gone, the book describes a time and place of poverty and hardship tempered by compassion, hope, and humor.

“Stubing Rist offers a unique and refreshing perspective on Adirondack life … Each character and event comes to life through Stubing Rist’s simple and concise method of storytelling … Up on a Hill and Thereabouts paints a complete picture that harkens back to a simpler time in American history.” — Hudson River Valley Review

“In close to one hundred short thematic sketches, the reader sees the world through the rose-tinted eyes of the child, who filters out the pain and chooses to see the world with expectations filled with hope. This collection of memoirs captures the heart as recorded by a Grandma Moses of the pen.” — San Francisco Book Review

“Superbly entertaining, thoughtful, and deftly written.” — Midwest Book Review

“This book gives us wonderful snapshots of life in the Adirondacks in the 1930s, where a smart kid grew up and treasured the best parts of her life.” — Adirondack Daily Enterprise

spellbinding … When the Harry Potter novels came out, my family waited in line to purchase each one at midnight; we enjoyed reading them together. Gloria Stubing Rist is no wizard. But her writing and her life have a special magic that often makes Harry, Ron and Hermione’s titanic battles with evil spirits look like small potatoes.” — John Rowen, Schenectady Daily Gazette

“Gloria ‘Yada’ Stubing Rist writes about growing up in the Adirondack Mountains during the Depression with a clear-eyed purity. The author’s hardscrabble childhood bears echoes of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes in its sensibility and her frank descriptions of rural poverty. As a young girl, she shivered herself to sleep on bitterly cold winter nights inside a tar paper shack with no electricity or running water on two acres her mother bought for $39. They made dinner out of bullheads caught in a nearby pond and found joy in walking barefoot through meadows, making mud pies, and attending barn dances. Stubing Rist’s astonishing achievement in Up on a Hill and Thereabouts lies in its simplicity and a style that heeds George Orwell’s dictum: ‘Good prose is like a windowpane.’” — Paul Grondahl, author of Mayor Corning: Albany Icon, Albany Enigma

“A ripping good read. As a girl-child of the ‘North Country’ myself, I was stirred. As a scholar and reader of women’s stories, I was engaged. Full of mischief and mayhem, this memoir recounts a hidden history of the rural poor in upstate New York. ‘Yada’ is more than a naive narrator here—she is a character of grit, self-reliance, and persistence, who tells the stories without sentimentality or irony.” — Kate H. Winter, author of The Woman in the Mountain: Reconstructions of Self and Land by Adirondack Women Writers and Lost Twain: A Novel of Hawai‘i

“Few girls could endure the scraggy, impoverished life of Stubing Rist’s Adirondacks. In stark and earthy detail, young ‘Yada’ tells how she not only survived but somehow thrived among the mean-spirited drunkards, entrancing gypsies, and oddball animals. In this engaging memoir, she reveals the valuable lessons and rich charms of her homey life ‘up on a hill.’” — Sandra Weber, author of Adirondack Roots: Stories of Hiking, History, and Women

Gloria Stubing Rist is a retired registered nurse and mother of three. She lives in Marcellus, New York.

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Table of Contents


Heading for the Mountains

Moving on from Stoney Lonesome

Nellie and My Birthday Cake

The Peeking Game


For a Little While, My Friend

Uncle Arthur’s Tree



Voodooing Carly

O’Prince, Grandpa and Me

Rhode Island Reds

My Miracle

The Blind Man

Christmas Came Early

Keeping Christmas

The Day I Had Charge

Making the Run

Never Let the Left Hand Know

Sauce on the Ceiling

My First Symphony

Old Beets


Little Coat

About My Very Own Dog

Cousin Henry and Strawberries

Junior, Little Boy Lost

At Last We Got a Car

Rock of Ages

With Love to Our Catholics

No More Make-Believe, Virginia

The Bums

The Stones

On Swimming Holes and Pigs

Gypsies and Good Luck

The Fourth of July

And So We Had Milk

Candy bar

Down in the Narrow

I Am a Lily, Easter 1934

Lake George Vacation

The Wedding Reception

Elmer Clanged

Afternoon at the Carnival

Circus Time

Great-grandpa Hall

Pros and Cons of red Twine

Politics, Country Style

Typical Late Summer Morning


Oh My God, Bedbugs

Just Another Day at School, or the Joys of Teaching


Old Alice, or My First Halloween

Did We or Didn’t We?

The Summer Picnic

I’ll Always Owe Beatty One

Charlie Fox


Special Friend

Talking to Sarah

To Get a Better Place

All About Eggs

Solving Problems

Kayo, Free Spirit

Rolland Rivers’ Rope


Up in the Overshot

In Every Garden There’s a Serpent

Playing With Fire

My One and Only

Henry Galusha’s Bananas

Our Maine Adventure 1937

Learning About Sex and Musterole

Davey vs. Old Faithful

Crown Point Bay

Kitchen Hops, “Staying Good,” and Swearing Off Men

Finally Getting To Be Thirteen


There’s Always One

Jencie and the Best Day Ever

Not to Worry

To My Beloved Teacher, Mrs. Connors

Carrie’s Wintergreen Patch

Crystal Summer

Indoor Toilets vs. False Teeth

Who Lived Where in Chilson—1930s

Fires I Have Known

How I Happened

Mrs. Rite

Special Pal



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