Fungo Bats, Fat Monroe, and Howdy Doody: Re-imagining the Happy Days of Post World War II Ohio Valley

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Virtual Filson Tue, Sep 7, 2021 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Set in the wake of World War II, ABC’s Happy Days portrayed a relatively sweet image of life in America of the 1950s and early 1960s, focusing as it did on the period as a mainly innocent and tame moment before the social revolutions of the 1960s. How true to life, though, was such a saccharine portrayal? As a precursor to a fuller exploration of the countercultural revolution of the 1960s, “Fungo Bats, Fat Monroe, and Howdy Doody” aims to explore life in the Ohio Valley in the few years immediately after World War II by allowing the largely fictional work of Kentucky authors Ed McClanahan, Wendell Berry, James Baker Hall, Gurney Norman, and Bobbie Ann Mason to offer possible ways to re-imagine the moments between the end of the Second World War, the rise of the Cold War, and the advent of the social and cultural revolution known as the Counterculture Movement.



Richard A. Bailey is Fitzpatrick Professor of History at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. A native of north Alabama, he is the author of Race and Redemption in Puritan New England (OUP, 2011). While he continues to write and lecture about “race" and religion in colonial New England, Richard is also currently working on several projects about the life and writings of some prominent Kentucky authors.