A Message from Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs Guy: Just to be clear, About My Mother is a book about my grandmother, written by my mother. That’s not to say it’s not about my mother—it is. In fact, About My Mother is as much about my mother as it is about my grandmother. In that sense, it’s really a book about “mothers.”
…It is not, however, a book written by me. True, I did write the foreword. But it doesn’t mean I’ve written a book about my mother. I haven’t. Nor does it mean my mother’s book is about her son. It isn’t. It’s about my grandmother. And my mother. Just to be clear.—Mike
A love letter to mothers everywhere, About My Mother will make you laugh and cry—and see yourself in its reflection. Peggy Rowe’s story of growing up as the daughter of Thelma Knobel is filled with warmth and humor. But Thelma could be your mother—there’s a Thelma in everyone’s life. She’s the person taking charge—the one who knows instinctively how things should be. Today, Thelma would be described as an alpha personality, but while growing up, her daughter Peggy saw her as a dictator—albeit a benevolent, loving one. They clashed from the beginning—Peggy, the horse-crazy tomboy, and Thelma, the genteel-yet-still-controlling mother, committed to raising two refined, ladylike daughters. Good luck.
When major league baseball came to town in the early 1950s and turned sophisticated Thelma into a crazed Baltimore Orioles groupie, nobody was more surprised and embarrassed than Peggy. Life became a series of compromises—Thelma tolerating a daughter who pitched manure and galloped the countryside, while Peggy learned to tolerate the whacky Orioles fan who threw her underwear at the television, shouted insults at umpires, and lived by the orange-and-black schedule taped to the refrigerator door.
Sometimes it takes a little distance to appreciate the people we love.
Peggy Rowe used to have a hobby; she wrote articles and stories that appeared in newspapers and magazines. Thanks to her husband, John, three sons, and two parents who lived across the lawn for 40 years, there was no scarcity of material. After writing her first book, About My Mother, at the age of 80—which became a NYT bestseller—and her second book, About Your Father, at the age of 82, Peggy’s hobby has become a full-time job. “It took me 80 years to find my voice,” she says, “And now I can’t shut it up!” Peggy Rowe’s daily Facebook blog, “About My Mother,” has over 100,000 followers. She and her husband of sixty years are former schoolteachers and live in Baltimore, Maryland.