"When Christine Hunt Daniell sat down with pen and paper and talked with the 'old- timers' for this book, her motivation was to preserve more than the bland surface details of regional history. The stories are from the Wairarapa, but their core is essential New Zealand experience, exposing something universally human. They describe how it felt to live over the last century, how it feels to be near the end of life, how today's world measures up. Each character is a survivor, recalling often raw or touching personal details. To Stan's insistence, "I'm amazed you keep wanting to come back and get information from an ordinary old fellow like me", this book is an extraordinary testament. These stories reflect our spirit. Our heritage. A carefully unravelled web of facts and feelings, earthy yarns, shrewd perceptions, tomfoolery, fantasy and faith. Our folk history. Who we are. Our backbone"--Back cover.