Author: Mildred L. Burns
Synopsis: “I was born in a dugout, and lived to see men walking on the moon!” That was the awe-struck way my father described the incredible journey of the times he lived in. He might well have described his own personal journey in equally incredulous terms. Born, as he said, in a home dug back into the side of a hill, attending school in a sod-built school for three months a year until he entered eighth grade; he earned an MA in educational psychology at the age of thirty-four, and was named Nebraska Senior Citizen of the Year 1971.
Historic and sometimes devastating events swirled around us – market crash, depression and job loss, dust storms and floods, Constitutional amendments and FDR. The nation grew, prospered, suffered.
But what of the millions of children in thousands of ordinary families? We hunkered down and made do. We bought ten-cent Christmas presents for each other, knocked icicles off the roof to fill the ice cream freezer, ate early-field corn which was almost as good as sweet corn, covered our mouths and noses with wet handkerchiefs to avoid the dust, made dresses from hundred-pound flour sacks, played Tarzan of the Apes through the trees on our farm, saved cottage cheese cartons to trade for a few pennies to buy fireworks. Like hundreds of thousands of other families in hard times, we just went ahead and lived. Those are the stories I have told here — the everyday stories of an ordinary family in extra-ordinary times. Enjoy them and remind yourself of your own stories; the stories we treasure are the measure of what we are.
Published in: 2010
No. of Pages: 256