Hobby discusses growing up poor in Durham, North Carolina, during the late 1920s and 1930s. Sometime during the early 1930s, Hobby's father left his mother with five boys to raise on her own. He describes what it was like to grow up in a single parent household and how the family worked to make ends meet. According to Hobby, most families he knew were poor like his and offers a brief sketch of a working community in Durham during the years of the Great Depression.