In Baltimore, Russell takes a paper route and learns to get along in the big city.
Growing Up, By Russell Baker
He's embroiled in fights, but he's good at school. Meanwhile, his mother tries to make a living, selling magazine subscriptions for commission. At one point, they have to get government handouts to eat. Eventually, Lucy meets and marries Herb Orrison, who works on the railroad and makes enough money to support her family. Russell hates his stepfather, who has replaced him as the man of the house. Lucy has another daughter, and the family moves to a house.
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Finally, Lucy has had the home of her own that she's dreamed about. Russell is about to graduate high school, but he can't afford college and doesn't know what he'll do for a job. A friend tells him about scholarships offered by Johns Hopkins University, and Russell gets accepted, with a scholarship to pay his tuition. During World War II, Russell drops out of college to become a pilot in the Navy, but just as he's finishing his training, the war ends. Russell comes back and eventually finishes college and goes to work for the Baltimore Sun.
Meanwhile, he meets Mimi, a modern girl. His mother disapproves, and Russell doesn't think she's the right kind of girl to marry. Still, he can't live without her, and after four years they marry. Years pass; his mother grows older. Herb dies. Russell has children and grandchildren.
In the end, his mother is confined to a nursing home, where in her senility, she relives the days of her past in a world of her own. Read more from the Study Guide. Browse all BookRags Study Guides.
Growing Up Summary & Study Guide
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