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Growing up in Delafield 

Benjamin Craig Long’s childhood was spent in Delafield, a northcentral Bowling Green neighborhood where everyone knew everyone, those who had jobs were of the blue collar variety, and the atmosphere was coarse and questionable. 

Despite these conditions, Long never viewed his situation as dire. Instead, he began working at a young age, socking away money to better his circumstances. He took his schooling seriously, understanding the importance of education and winning the support of his teachers. Though he respected his family, he knew that leadership into a better life would likely come from somewhere else. 

Long’s book, Delafield: Confessions of a Boy From the Wrong Side of the Tracks, is his collection of childhood memories. Those growing up in or near Bowling Green will recognize prominent landmarks such as Beech Bend Park where Long worked as a young boy. Long also unapologetically leaves names unchanged, so readers might encounter someone they know as well. 

Long’s stories reflect the atmosphere of his surroundings, so sensitive readers should be advised of coarse language. However, the uncensored nature of the stories lends to the reader’s visualization of Delafield. 

With a large portion of his book devoted to the entertaining characters and conditions Long encountered while manning the corn dog stand at Beech Bend, it becomes clear where the bulk of his maturing took place. Learning customer service, responsibility, how to work under pressure, flexibility and how to put his best foot forward would go a long way in determining his future path. Struggling continually with a lack of confidence when it came to females, Long’s plethora of opportunities to talk to the girls visiting the corn dog stand prepared him well for the day the girl of his dreams would join the line. Almost the one that got away (read the whole story in the book), that same girl would, many years later, become Long’s bride. 

Much has changed since Long was a Delafield boy. Urban renewal replaced his neighborhood with better, sturdier homes than the ramshackle structures in which he and his friends lived. Long and his family moved out and moved up just prior to that. About himself, he says, “Craig Long, that goofy kid from Delafield—you know, the Presbyterian corn dog salesman from Beech Bend— he married well. He’s turned out just as good as anybody.” 

Beech Bend Park remains in operation today, opening for the season this month, and features an amusement park, splash lagoon, drag strip and campground. The park’s name derives from its location: nestled in the bend of the Barren River lined with hundreds of beech trees. The spot has hosted picnickers dating back to the late 1800s. Find more info at

Delafield, ($17.95, available on Amazon) is Benjamin Craig Long’s first book. Still living in Bowling Green with his wife and cats, Long is a Warren RECC member. Connect with him at 

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