Bill Bryson grew up during the 1950s in Des Moines, Iowa where, he says, everything about his childhood was the best.
Bishop's Downtown was the best restaurant. Dahl's, the local supermarket, had a kiddie corral filled with comic books — a kid could get swallowed up there.
Younkers, the local department store, had a tea room that looked like a postcard of Buckingham Palace, and gave children little gifts wrapped in crisp white paper.
Bryson, the author of A Walk in the Woods, A Short History of Nearly Everything, and Notes from a Small Island, has written a memoir about his childhood called The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.