||Billy Creelman grew up in the 1930s in the midst of the Great Depression and between two world wars, a turbulent and frightening time. Millions of people lost their homes. Millions of formerly proud workers stood for hours in food lines and on street corners in all kinds of weather, selling apples and pencils. or holding out tin cups for change. "Brother can you spare a dime?" After the bank foreclosed on Bill's parents tiny farm in Harford County, Maryland, the family was forced to split up. With his faithful companion and best friend Spike, a Border Collie, at his side, Billy began hitchiking to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to live with his Uncle Dan, a war hero with a mysterious past. During the journey, Billy saw first hand some of the destrucive effects of the World War and the Depression on lives of Americans, and for the first time, looked fear in the face and learned more than he could have imagined about violence and poverty.