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Mr Jimmy from Around the Way by Terri Gobble.jpg

Mr. Jimmy From Around the Way 

by Jeffery Blount


    "The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges" - Martin Luther King, Jr.    

    This quote certainly applies to James Henry Ferguson, aka "Mr. Jimmy from around the way".  After losing everything most dear to him including his wife and daughters, Mr. Jimmy lands in a little-known place called, Ham, Mississippi. 


A billionaire once well-known for his philanthropy and generosity, now he is an outcast from society due to one very bad choice he made. Although, to be fair, there were some extenuating circumstances. Essentially, he has crawled in the proverbial hole to lick his wounds and die.


Fortunately for the reader, Mr. Jimmy has landed in a place where he can redeem himself. Ham, MS, is full of illiteracy and poverty where the upper class and the lower class of folks are separated by the railroad tracks. The town is controlled by a true villain who "keeps everyone in line on both sides of the tracks" with blackmail.


Mr. Jimmy gets involved when an elderly neighbor, Mrs. Septima, takes a fall and he rushes her to the local hospital; only to be treated like a second-class citizen until a doctor recognizes who he is. Unfortunately, others find out who he is, and the newspapers have a field day, making up stories about him and casting aspersions on his character. He tries to help the poverty-stricken children pull themselves up by teaching them to read and giving them jobs to do. In turn, the children's parents' lives become better as a result. Is it possible to save a whole community with literacy?

    I truly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. It is not necessarily a feel-good book because it addresses such issues as illiteracy, class differences, prostitution, degradation, unemployment and yes, some racism. However, it is well worth reading, since James Henry Ferguson in trying to redeem himself succeeds in redeeming a whole community by giving them hope.


Readers will enjoy many lovable characters in this book as well as the trials they go through just trying to have a normal life for themselves as well as their children. Look for the phrase "Air pressure, water pressure, blood pressure"....


By Terri Gobble

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