RON Williams has a thousand questions he wished he had asked his parents.
‘‘But I didn’t and I regret it,’’ the 80-year-old writer and researcher from Wickham said.
From this regret he has found the juice to pen 28 books in hope they may help young people get the ‘‘conversation started’’ with older generations.
‘‘The younger generations know nothing of what happened years and years ago,’’ he said.
‘‘Hopefully they [the books] will spark discussion between generations, and foster the asking and answering of questions that should not remain unanswered.’’
Not just for the young, the books look back on newsworthy events over a one year period in history andalso appeal to nostalgia buffs.
‘‘It appeals to the oldies,’’ he said.
‘‘Everyone inevitably gets nostalgic and things have changed so much.’’
The Born In year books are a study of Australian social history covering the years between 1939 and 1968.
Each 160 page book looks back atevents which shaped Australia and how this affected ordinary people at the time.
The first book, Born in 1946, looks at the period one year after World War II.
‘‘It was a confused year, the war was over, the boys were coming home – at least those who weren’t killed or maimed,’’ Mr Williams said.
‘‘They were expecting things like rationing and housing problems to go away, but they didn’t.
‘‘The boys had been guaranteed they would get their old jobs back, but the people who had taken their jobs weren’t willing to give them up.
‘‘There was a balance between great relief, and [the expectation of] a brand new life, but there were still all these restrictions.’’
His research begins by reading every edition of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age for the year he is writing on.
He uses newspaper articles and letters to the editor as sources from which he draws a picture of public sentiment towards the issues of the day and offers his own commentary.
The work began 10 years ago and the first book had a run of 800 copies which he sold on e-Bay.
Since then, as the collection has grown, he has extended sales to local markets and is a regular at Newcastle City Market.
Currently Mr Williams is writing three books each year. What began as a hobby looks set to become more after signing a distribution deal with Woodslane which will see the books in major stores across the country.
Born in 1968 is due out in March 2016.
NOSTALGIA BUFF: Ron Williams has written 28 books on Australian social history and now has a deal which will see his work in major book stores.
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