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Book Review of "Touching Gently: A Memoir", by Charles Hargrove

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In his book, Touching Gently, A Memoir, Charles Hargrove had the unique ability to welcome the reader to the culture and times living in Southern California in the 1930s. He takes the reader on a journey beginning with his childhood, which included loving parents, horses, boy scouts, a teenage romance, acceptance into the right crowd at school, a job in the family business, his first heartbreak, and a chance at an acting career.

Hargrove’s memoir continues with detailed vignettes of his experiences in college, meeting the love of his life, Joan Von Euer and his stint in the Navy during the Korean War. Serving as a Quartermaster on a destroyer, he writes vivid descriptions of life aboard the USS Halsey Powell: sleeping in narrow bunks stacked three feet high, rough seas and seasickness.
 


When his military service ended and with a college degree in business, he began a long and successful career with Bank of America in the Trust Department before creating his own business as a Private Professional Fiduciary. Hargrove shares insights and wisdom that shaped his career as well as his philosophy as a guiding principle of behavior.

We read fiction to escape into unknown places and unknown times, into a world that may be exciting and riveting, yet, stories that actually happened can be just as poignant. Touching Gently portrays life in the 20th Century, expressing clearly a value of intellectualism and optimism.

 

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