About the Author

Jim Blumenstiel is a 77-year-old retired trial attorney. After graduating law school in 1967 and getting married in December of 1967, he decided to volunteer to serve his country during the Vietnam War. He joined the US Navy and shipped out to Vietnam, ultimately serving two tours of duty on the USS Newport News, a heavy cruiser, serving on the naval gun line in Vietnam. 

Part of Jim’s motivations for retiring at age 74 came from a feeling that technology was passing him by. For the first time in his long career, he found himself uncomfortable. He never got into “Facebooking” or texting. Up until recently, he had a flip phone that was almost nineteen years old, and he has always preferred talking to people directly. As Jim says, “That’s just how I am.” 

However, as he watched children all around growing up, he became concerned with how they lived on their iPhones, playing games or texting, and how they never walked in the woods, climbed trees, or watched birds and squirrels. Jim began to think hard about how our culture was developing with the advent of so much technological development. 

And so, he decided to write a book for all of his grandchildren about what it was like growing up in the small town of Alliance, Ohio, in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Alliance was written about in the 1940s in Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the only city in the US whose Main Street was a dead end at both ends. 

Jim wanted his grandchildren to learn how fun it is to climb trees and watch a fox chasing geese, and to walk collie dogs through the woods while they chased those fuzzy little animals (squirrels), who not only outran the dogs, but could run up a tree as fast as they ran on the ground. Jim and his friends always loved the outdoors and grew up with an appreciation for nature. So, as he finished his autobiography, on a lark, he decided to send copies to several publishers for their comments. He received messages back from four publishers who were interested in publishing it. Jim worked with Biblio Publishing in Grandview Heights, Ohio, and Growing Up on a Dead End Street Was a Great Beginning was born. 

Jim was born in Alliance on Christmas Day in 1942 on Shunk Avenue (a dead-end street). In third grade Jim and his family moved to a new house that his parents had built on three acres of woods and (you guessed it!), Mountview Drive was also a dead-end street, and Jim’s house was the last house on the street. 

Growing Up on a Dead End Street Was a Great Beginning describes how wonderful it was growing up in a small town in those years, and how everyone cared for each other’s families. It tells how our parents encouraged us to spend time with good friends, out in the woods and fields, and to climb trees to watch the birds, rabbits, squirrels, and foxes while appreciating the wonders of God’s creations in nature. 

Jim hopes you enjoy his book!