New London is in for a treat this holiday season. Local author and New London graduate Eric Ebinger is publishing a memoir of his final year at New London Elementary. The 100-page book is titled, “How in the World Did I Make It Through the Fourth Grade?"
Why has the presidential historian turned back the clock on his own life? “2016 has certainly been a year fraught with anger, frustration, and anxiety," Ebinger said. “I started reading these old essays and found myself giggling uncontrollably at the silly but sweet memories of a much simpler time and I thought I need to share this."
Ebinger is becoming known for making presidents come to life through delightful storytelling and enthusiastic descriptions. “For me, presidents come alive during the moments away from the lectern or Oval Office." The same is true in the life of a fourth grader. “It’s not the grades or the schoolwork, but waiting in line for lunch, bus rides, recess and the awful fear of getting in trouble. And gosh that happened to me quite a lot in 1987," he stated.
In 2004, Ebinger released his first book, “Stringing Up the Lights", a humorous tale of the holidays during fifth grade. He said he is surprised how often people still bring up that memoir. “The little boy in my first book touched a lot of hearts, and this is the same ornery but sickeningly sweet little kid."
Should we expect to read familiar names or did Ebinger change them? “The only character that isn’t portrayed in the best light is me, so everyone else is relatively safe. And I couldn’t change my teacher’s name. Mrs. Shepherd suffered through 180 days of her life with me, so she deserves all the accolades that accompany the fact that she let me live to see the fifth grade."
The book will be available at the Heilman Building during the Hometown Holidays event this Saturday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ebinger will also have his first presidential biography, 100 Days in the Life of Rutherford Hayes. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will be donated to the New London Public Library in honor of the Class of 1995.