David Lee Thompson
RIVER OF MEMORIES: An Appalachian Boyhood
Inspired by his desire to share his Appalachian boyhood with future generations, David Lee Thompson has written a series of stories, depicting his life in Bowen Creek, West Virginia, during the 1940s and ‘50s. With a trip out West providing the backdrop, the author weaves story after story into a nostalgic piece of work, portraying life as he experienced it, in the heart of Appalachia. One of these, “A Framework for Happiness,” was published in a book entitled The Life Writing Class. Now, in River of Memories, the author shares more humorous and heartwarming tales, with vivid accounts of everyday life. From his birth in a “tater-knobbed” house to his stint in the Vietnam War, Thompson’s journey from boyhood to manhood displays his strong ties to the Appalachian culture. As Dr. Alan B. Gould of Marshall University states, “The author’s recollections of a bygone era not only produces a ‘river of memories’ for himself, but provides the reader with warm and colorful insights into the customs, habits, and traditions of the Appalachian way of life.”
More information about the book is included on David's Website,
River of Memories: An Appalachian Boyhood
and a chapter of David's book is available to be enjoyed on the IWVPA website at
Chapter 13: Deliverance
After reading David’s book, and having communicated with him several times, I have found a new friend, and a book that is among the top ten of my favourite non-fiction books.
I laughed out loud (to the bemusement and ammusement of my wife) felt sadness and empathy, and re-lived the life of a boy in the Appalachian region of America… and this despite being Australian and never having had the opportunity of visiting that region of America. Perhaps my reaction may have something to do with the fact that I’m also a river boy… born and bred on the banks of the River Murray in a little town called Mannum in South Australia, but I rather think it’s because David has written a book that is lovingly and without apology, a reflection and reminder of love, family, and the times of childhood growth.
Read the book… it’s a bluddy beauty!
Anthony W. Pahl OAM
February 8, 2006
Huntington, West Virginia, USA
Sunday April 2, 2006
AUTHOR: A round of applause for David Lee Thompson, a retired Cabell County teacher, and author of “River of Memories: An Appalachian Boyhood.” W.H. McDonald, president of Military Writers Society of America, Sacramento, has interviewed him (To read the interview, visit www.militarywriters.com/).
The book received a 2004 MWSA Gold Medal Award in non-fiction/personal memoir and accolades from readers such as Anthony W. Pahl of Australia’s International War Veterans’ Poetry Archives. David and his wife, Janet, reside in Salt Rock.
David Lee Thompson grew up in Bowen Creek, West Virginia. A Vietnam Veteran who served with the 1st Infantry Division, The Big Red One – in 1965-1966, he graduated from Marshall University with an M.A. in education. Now retired from teaching, he lives in Salt Rock, West Virginia, with his wife, Janet. They have two sons and two grandsons.