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Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017

Life before the baby boomers

Posted Thursday, May 19, 2011, at 9:52 AM

Guest Columnist

Now days we are hearing about the life changes the Baby Boomers will be facing.

But take a trip with me down memory lane and remember how our lives were ahead of them. We paved the path for them, we taught them how life can be by working hard. Just as our parents taught us.

Being a child reared in the late 1930's, the end of the great depression, but did we realize how hard life was for our parents? Many of them grew up being affluent and lost it all in the stock market.

But, did they cry and whine? Or did they get back to basics and make do, make it work and get by? Or, as my Grandpa would say, "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps (whatever that meant) and forge ahead."

That's what my family did.

I can remember Mother buying a Milky Way candy bar. Cutting it up in small slices and "Let's have a party."

Or many times for dinner, having fried potatoes, or white gravy and bread that tasted SO good!

Going to first grade and back in those days, your teacher called at you on your home to meet you. Mother had Miss Sims, my first grade teacher over for tea and cookies. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to meet this wonderful woman.

Mother made Pinwheel cookies, which, as a six year old, I thought were so elegant. We had tea and visited.

I couldn't wait to get to go to Eastwood school. My brother, Billy Max was in fifth grade, so he knew his way around.

I used to ride on the handlebars of this bike down the street, hanging on for dear life ... you know how big brothers are, they want to scare you silly. But that big brother of mine has taken care of my all my life, and still is.

Walking home from school my neighbor ladies would be sitting on their front porch snapping beans or doing whatever neighbor ladies do. They would always invite me up to visit with them and have milk and cookies for me. To this day I can drive up Jefferson Street where we lived in the Jefferson House and remember them all.

One day I was coming home from school and stopped to pet a neighbors dog. He bit me! On the face, right by my eye. I ran home crying. Mother called Dr. Aiken, he rushed right over to our house and brought me an ice cream cone. He held me on his lap and put medicine on the dog bite and only have a small scar there now.

I loved Dr. Aiken. By the way, he is the doctor who delivered me in 1933 and told my mother, Nell, "You got the baby girl you wanted." What a way to enter our world.

There were two sisters, The Vawter Sisters (as we called them) had a huge black cooking pot filled with grease.

They put in thin sliced potatoes and made what we now called Potato Chips. I would go home with a big brown paper bag filled with potato chips, which cost a nickel (Seems everything cost a nickel) and when I got home the bag was saturated with grease, but, let me tell you, those were the best potato chips you ever ate.

Every Saturday the Manor Man would come on our porch with the most delicious baked goods. Cinnamon rolls, Salt Rising Bread and oh, my how hard it was to chose.

On Boyd Street there was a cafe, just a counter with stools you could twirl on and again, for a nickel you could buy the best hamburger you ever ate. It was huge, with relish, my favorite and so big I could hardly hold in my little hands.

Back then, our parents didn't have to worry about us being safe. We could ride our bikes all over town, hike to the country with our back packs, roast potatoes over an open fire and find a special place.

A dried up river bank with tree's hanging over we could swing on, eat apples and laugh all the way home. A place we could name. My friend, Nancy and I found our place. We called it BENAH. Brisley-Ellingson Nature Haven. It was great fun living in a haven ...

Or, a playhouse above our brick garage with a loft ... oh, that's a whole other story ...

Memories, don't ever forget them, write them down for your children and your grandchildren. I have five journals for my grandsons. Life as it used to be and look forward to the future. What can it hold?

Can't wait to find out.

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Thanks for sharing your memories of growing up in the 30s...

I have especially happy memories of the Manor's Salt Rising bread. Great on cold winter days with a cup of hot tea mixed with hot milk and a tsp of sugar. Before the war, we had real butter, but that changed during the war, of course.

-- Posted by upsedaisy on Tue, May 31, 2011, at 10:24 PM

This is wonderful reading. Thank you SO much for sharing and please continue.

My memories are from the 50's in Marshall. Does anyone have photos of the square and its shops during those days? I recall the closing of Missouri Valley Stores very well. They had a sporting goods department that sold ammo. As I recall, I bought about a dozen 9mm rounds with my allowance to shoot in a pistol we had. They had a strange "Z"-shaped stamp in the casing and I asked Dad what it was. He said the ammo was from a time of evil *the swastika of Nazi ammo) and he wanted me to shoot it quickly to get it out of the house. Back then, we were far more innocent than our parents.


-- Posted by Nonnymus on Sat, Jul 9, 2011, at 3:45 PM

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