In "A Long Short Life, " Merle W. McMorrow documents a trail of events of his own and his family's experiences from his youth into adulthood. He was born during a time of uncertainty following World War I. Both his father and mother grew up in families that put very little value on education, and therefore neither one finished high school. Their marriage resulted in family difficulties due to religious differences, among other factors. Tragedy struck the family many times, but the event that left a permanent mark on McMorrow and his family was the divorce of his parents. These problems were followed by the deaths of some of other family members, as well as a diagnosis of diabetes for his father. This period of difficulties would ultimately extend through three major historical time periods: the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War. Despite the many problems his family endured, however, they enjoyed twenty years as a close-knit family, all lovingly chronicled in "A Long Short Life."