From the book jacket: “Spring came early to Catawba Valley that year. So did polio. Beginning in isolated rural areas, scattered cases appeared until, by the end of June, polio had reached dangerous proportions. From a thousand fearful homes came anxious cries and appeals for help. People knew fear that summer because it was not the first time the Crippler had taken its toll in Piedmont Carolina. Three times it had swept as an epidemic through the area. By midsummer of 1953 the threat loomed larger than ever. Parents and civic leaders were keenly aware of the danger, but knowledge of the disease was limited. In desperation they appealed for a serum offering some hope. Luther Robinson, Lenior’s elementary school principal, stood through the day watching children enter the school for their vaccinations and then depart by way of the lollipop stand. The Robinsons had carefully planned these final summer weeks before their two daughters, Anita, 21, and Alta, 19, would return to college. This was to be their happiest summer. But even as Luther watched the youngsters being vaccinated, polio swiftly invaded his own home.”


We Made Peace with Polio