With his ear for the small town and his knack for finding the needle of humor in life's haystack, Philip Gulley might well be Indiana's answer to Missouri's Mark Twain. In I Love You, Miss Huddleston we are transported to 1970's Danville, Indiana, the everyone-knows-your-business town where Gulley still lives today, to witness the uproarious story of Gulley's young life, including his infatuation with his comely sixth-grade teacher, his dalliance with sin—eating meat on Friday and inappropriate activities with a mannequin named Ginger—and his checkered start with organized religion.
Sister Mary John had shown us a flannelgraph of the apostles receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. They looked quite happy, except that their hair was on fire. . . . I was suspicious of a religion whose highpoint was the igniting of one's head, and my enthusiasm for church, which had never been great, began to fade.
Even as Kennedy was facing down Khrushchev, Danny Millardo and his band of youthful thugs conducted a reign of terror still unmatched in the annals of Indiana history. With Gulley's sharp wit and keen observation, I Love You, Miss Huddleston captures these dramas and more, revisiting a childhood of unrelieved and happy chaos.
From beginning to end, Gulley recalls the hilarity (and heightened dangers) of those wonder years and the easy charm of midwestern life.
"Philip Gulley gives us the good laugh, the good cry and a good read of a world still in reach through faith and family." -- Thomas Lynch, author of "The Undertaking'
"Gulley has illuminated a childhood where risk and frivolity are combined into one. An engrossing and propelling story that never once lets the reader forget that it's our youth that makes us all what we are.." -- Doug Crandell, author of "Pig Boy's Wicked Bird and The Flawless Skin of Ugly People"
"Flat-out hilarious." -- Booklist
"A laugh-out-loud funny tweaking of a not terribly misspent youth." -- Publisher's Weekly
."..a positive, feel-good escape in times that aren't so simple anymore." -- The Miami Herald
"In the fashion of Mark Twain and Garrison Keillor, Gulley has crafted a book that is great fun, but fun with a message beneath the surface." -- Indianapolis Star
"A wonderful account of the treasures, trials and plain old wackiness of growing up in small town Indiana. Gulley tells his stories with a bright intelligence, a wry wink and warm-hearted good humor, which are at the same time tender, thought provoking and downright hilarious." -- Carrie Newcomer, singer and songwriter
"Philip Gulley's memoir is sweet and funny - funny enough that you're tempted to read parts aloud just to amuse yourself further." -- Jay Allison, host and curator, NPR's "This I Believe"