Extreme poverty in childhood taught a...

Extreme poverty in childhood taught author to take nothing for granted

There are 16 comments on the Montreal Gazette story from Nov 25, 2008, titled Extreme poverty in childhood taught author to take nothing for granted. In it, Montreal Gazette reports that:

There were times, growing up, when Jeannette Walls was so hungry she'd scavenge trash bins at school for the discarded remains of her classmates' lunches.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Montreal Gazette.

just me

Bluefield, WV

#1 Nov 25, 2008
Some of the lies that were told in this book were simply ridiculous. I've lived in Welch all of my life and remember this girl and her family very well. During this time period Welch was the type of place that if you have a cup of sugar then your neighbor had a cup.

The only thing that I can see that Jeannettee learned well (she apparently got it from her father) is to milk a cow until it's completely dry. She's rode these lies all the way to the bank.

Shame on her for portraying Welch and the people of Welch in this negative way, especially when the majority of the things she said were LIES!

PS--if they were soooo poor then why didn't they sell that diamond ring or that property in that her mother's family owned??????

She's a moocher!
Tarheel

Bunnlevel, NC

#2 Nov 26, 2008
I read the book and it was one of the most inspiring books that I have ever read.
As far as Welch being such a wonderful place to be, well it may have been for you. That does not mean that is was for Jeannette. Every person has her own reality. Every family has their own reality. Quite frankly her father should have gotten a job and taken care of his family. But he didn't and Jeannette got out and became successful. She was successful even if she had never written The Glass Castle. I wish her well and I hope she continues to be successful. As one McDowell countian, go Jeannette.

Since: Dec 07

Location hidden

#3 Nov 27, 2008
just me wrote:
Some of the lies that were told in this book were simply ridiculous. I've lived in Welch all of my life and remember this girl and her family very well. During this time period Welch was the type of place that if you have a cup of sugar then your neighbor had a cup.
The only thing that I can see that Jeannettee learned well (she apparently got it from her father) is to milk a cow until it's completely dry. She's rode these lies all the way to the bank.
Shame on her for portraying Welch and the people of Welch in this negative way, especially when the majority of the things she said were LIES!
PS--if they were soooo poor then why didn't they sell that diamond ring or that property in that her mother's family owned??????
She's a moocher!
There is nothing wrong or ridiculous about being poor, most people were and still are. Nothing shameful about that, only makes a person even more grateful when they do receive. Times have been very hard here in the southern coalfields.
Great Author

Bayonne, NJ

#4 Nov 27, 2008
She sure knows how to write!
just me

Princeton, WV

#5 Nov 30, 2008
meelie mouth wrote:
<quoted text>
There is nothing wrong or ridiculous about being poor, most people were and still are. Nothing shameful about that, only makes a person even more grateful when they do receive. Times have been very hard here in the southern coalfields.
I never said that it was wrong or ridiculous to be poor. Most people in the area were the working poor, but they helped each other.

“Gotta Love the Beagle! ”

Since: May 07

princeton wv

#6 Dec 1, 2008
just me wrote:
Some of the lies that were told in this book were simply ridiculous. I've lived in Welch all of my life and remember this girl and her family very well. During this time period Welch was the type of place that if you have a cup of sugar then your neighbor had a cup.
The only thing that I can see that Jeannettee learned well (she apparently got it from her father) is to milk a cow until it's completely dry. She's rode these lies all the way to the bank.
Shame on her for portraying Welch and the people of Welch in this negative way, especially when the majority of the things she said were LIES!
PS--if they were soooo poor then why didn't they sell that diamond ring or that property in that her mother's family owned??????
She's a moocher!
If you dont believe there were people that poor and bad off in Welch then I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.
Grew up with people who didnt have any indoor plumbing and no 'good neighbors' to give them that cup of sugar or anything else.
You can keep your head in a sandpile if you want but some of us know the truth
Bubba

High Point, NC

#7 Dec 1, 2008
Seeker wrote:
<quoted text>If you dont believe there were people that poor and bad off in Welch then I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.
Grew up with people who didnt have any indoor plumbing and no 'good neighbors' to give them that cup of sugar or anything else.
You can keep your head in a sandpile if you want but some of us know the truth
Spoken so true Kiddo!..BTW can i borrow a cup of 10-W-40 motoroil?..I wanna make my coffee darker. <grin>
JO ANN

Morristown, TN

#8 Dec 2, 2008
Seeker wrote:
<quoted text>If you dont believe there were people that poor and bad off in Welch then I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.
Grew up with people who didnt have any indoor plumbing and no 'good neighbors' to give them that cup of sugar or anything else.
You can keep your head in a sandpile if you want but some of us know the truth
i don't think anyone is disputing that she was poor. But, if you read this book you will know what was truth and what was fiction. I don't know what Welch she lived in but, I don't remember a lot of the stuff she talks about. She made a lot of money on a book she calls fact and I call fiction. I never remember half of Welch running around with black eyes just looking for a fight. I don't remember the KKK out in the open in Welch like she claims. She told a really good story and I know some of it is true but, a lot of it is not. She painted Welch as a really bad place to live and it was not. I was poor too the only difference was my Dad worked and did not drink but we were still poor.
andrea

Cumberland, MD

#9 May 25, 2011
just me wrote:
Some of the lies that were told in this book were simply ridiculous. I've lived in Welch all of my life and remember this girl and her family very well. During this time period Welch was the type of place that if you have a cup of sugar then your neighbor had a cup.
The only thing that I can see that Jeannettee learned well (she apparently got it from her father) is to milk a cow until it's completely dry. She's rode these lies all the way to the bank.
Shame on her for portraying Welch and the people of Welch in this negative way, especially when the majority of the things she said were LIES!
PS--if they were soooo poor then why didn't they sell that diamond ring or that property in that her mother's family owned??????
She's a moocher!
You are so jealous of Jennette!! Sorry that you never got out of that hillbilly town but she, and her siblings were too good to stay with you and the rest of that sorry town! SHAME ON YOU... Best book I have ever read!!!
andrea

Cumberland, MD

#10 May 25, 2011
Noone on here lived her life, so if you grew up in Welch and had a different expeirience then praise God!! It's not anyones place to dispute her and who cares if she made it all up, SHE'S RICH NOW and she she has inspired many, kudos!!!
WOW

Chicago, IL

#11 May 31, 2011
just me wrote:
Some of the lies that were told in this book were simply ridiculous. I've lived in Welch all of my life and remember this girl and her family very well. During this time period Welch was the type of place that if you have a cup of sugar then your neighbor had a cup.
The only thing that I can see that Jeannettee learned well (she apparently got it from her father) is to milk a cow until it's completely dry. She's rode these lies all the way to the bank.
Shame on her for portraying Welch and the people of Welch in this negative way, especially when the majority of the things she said were LIES!
PS--if they were soooo poor then why didn't they sell that diamond ring or that property in that her mother's family owned??????
She's a moocher!
What is this book called I want to buy it and read it, I am from Welch myself and if she is saying it is poor and a lot of people are out for nothing but themselves its true.
McDowell County

Bluefield, WV

#12 May 31, 2011
WOW wrote:
<quoted text>What is this book called I want to buy it and read it, I am from Welch myself and if she is saying it is poor and a lot of people are out for nothing but themselves its true.
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls very good book.
WOW

Chicago, IL

#13 May 31, 2011
McDowell County wrote:
<quoted text>
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls very good book.

Thank you it is so nice to see that some people make productive citizens that came from McDowell County shame it didn't rub off if you know what I mean.
Visitor

Abingdon, VA

#14 Sep 2, 2013
Just visited Welch and Gary, WV today. I have never seen a poorer, sadder, more run down place in my life. If you feel it wasn't what Jeanette wrote it to be like, then you have never been anywhere else. There's nowhere else in the US so poverty stricken. Not even Harlem or Compton. So, so sad. May God help the people of McDowell.
dlt

Agassiz, Canada

#15 Nov 18, 2013
Sounded to me like she wanted people to know what it was like to not only be poor, but living the crazy life of a kid whose parents struggled with mental illness. Those kids suffer where ever they live. And there are some in most every town. She was not picking on Walch, it just happened to be her town. Those kids dont get the pleasure of seeing the good. Every day is a struggle and they dont even know it. Its just their life. One day at a time.
heartfelt

Brooklyn, NY

#16 Jul 31, 2015
One of the best books I have ever read! Such a courageous young girl she was and an amazing woman she turned out to be. Not many people could survive all her and siblings endured. Parents who did not put the children first just plain old selfishness until their last days. Some people are just set in their ways. Poverty is a very sad thing. Not knowing where and when your next meal will come is painful. After googling Welch west Virginia and seeing that still in 2015 the poverty level is still at a High percentage with living conditions some similar to 3rd world countries you think my god please help these people. No place in the united states should be this way. When not even welfare makes these people's lives a little better.

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