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SMALL TOWN, GREAT PEOPLE by Jean Barbour Clark

Sixty-some years ago, two Scottish lassies boarded the Queen Mary and voyaged west towards the adventure of a lifetime. Leaving behind a sombre post-war Glasgow, Jean and Mary disembarked in bustling New York and settled for a while with friends of their church in Vineland, New Jersey.

To say small-town America was different from the life they had known that far would be an understatement, but they took to it with charm, grace and curious excitement, no doubt making as much of an impression on the New Jersey folk as the Americans did on them.

After hearing that Mary had gone to be with the Lord, Jean decided to write some of their experiences down. Small Town Great People is a series of encounters with new ways and “exotic” people, each of them leading to a verse of scripture and a lesson on living in faith.

Jean Barbour Clark takes events that happened in the fifties and writes them in a way that encourages the reader to feel they could walk down that street, drop into that drug store, buy that coffee at Woolworths. Along the way she visits a prison with a choir, dispels some Scottish stereotypes (while reinforcing the better ones), crosses racial divides, and discovers hot-dogs.

Small Town, Great People is a tribute to a friend, it is social commentary, but, most of all, it is a charming, delightful read.

To order a copy, e-mail Jean at

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