A family gift turns into a NE history lesson

Cover. Former Northeast resident Roy McCaully released a book about growing up in the NEKC. Joe Jarosz

Cover. Former Northeast resident Roy McCaully released a book about growing up in the NEKC. Joe Jarosz

By Joe Jarosz
Northeast News
July 9, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – About 15 years ago, Roy McCaully’s daughter moved to France.

Unknown to her if she would move back, she would pester her father about writing what it was like growing up in the Historic Northeast so his grandchildren would have an idea of what his childhood was like. McCaully finally obliged a couple of years ago because when his father passed away, McCaully was young and didn’t know him too well. In McCaully’s mind, this was something he was writing just for family.

“She passed it around to so many people that she was told it would make a magnificent book,” McCaully said.

The stories, which entail McCaully and his family living in the Northeast during the 1950s-60s, detail his childhood and early teenage years. McCaully, 72, now lives in Polo, Mo. Last Christmas, his daughter moved from France to Polo. As a Christmas present, she decided the stories needed to be in print.

“She had the stories edited and printed as a Christmas present for me,” McCaully said. “It was such a success with friends and family that we printed more.”

The book, titled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is now for sale on Amazon under the pen name Christopher Devon McLowe. McCaully said he’s never written a book before. He’d always enjoyed writing and for a majority of his life, he said he’s written countless poems. But again, those were always for family and friends, and never for print. He enjoyed the process so much, that McCaully is already almost complete with a second and third book.

“I plan to write until the good Lord says I can’t,” McCaully said. “My daughter works for several publishers and works on my stuff when she has the time.”

It took McCaully about a year to gather stories together for the first book. The book is filled with memories and he wanted to make sure he got them as accurate as possible. Some even took an emotional toll on him.”

“I would write for a day then would step away for about a week or so because the emotional memories the stories brought,” McCaully said.

Several stories stuck out for McCaully, which he made sure to include. One story was his father advertising his business in the Northeast News. Soon after the newspaper was put out, his father received multiple calls and his business exploded. One of his favorite stories included a time where he, his sister and his mother walked from their home at 535 Spruce St., to a shoe store at the intersection on Benton Boulevard and Independence Avenue. McCaully wanted a popular pair of shoes that “all the kids had” called Buster Browns. When his mother said they couldn’t afford them, he left the store to pout outside. Just then, a man with no legs passed him, asking why he was upset. When McCaully told the man why, he said his response prompted him to run back in the store and apologize to his mother.

“That’s why I titled it ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ because there were good times and bad times,” McCaully said.


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