Your memories are for you and your family. The following excerpts showcase the types of memories we capture.

Not many people had a white wedding dress in those days, but Mom insisted that I would have one. She’d had one, and since I was the first one in the family to get married, I should too. It cost $10, which was a lot of money back then. We kept everything else simple. We invited about 40 people, and they brought the flowers. Those were the only flowers in the church. Afterwards, everyone came out to the folks’ house for a chicken supper that Mom made. A friend baked a three-tier white cake dotted with yellow roses.

Laura, North Dakota

When I was growing up on the farm, our house got electricity in 1949 and running water and an indoor bathroom in 1954. Before that, we got water at the windmill for cooking and drinking and had a cistern in back of the house to wash our hair and wash dishes. This was one of the first houses in the area to have an indoor bathroom. I don’t remember having a phone until after I got home from the Army in 1964.

Jack, North Dakota

My last two and a half years in high school were early-rising. My dad came in and tapped me on the shoulder at 5:30 am. He said, “Time to get up, Janie-Bell, those cows are waiting for us.” I wanted to turn over pretty badly! Once in a while, I would turn over and fall back asleep, but then my mother would get me up, because I had to get done milking before the bus came.

Jan, Minnesota

I was lonely when we were stationed in Germany. I’d never been away from home. But I learned to knit. I kept our house and clothes clean. I helped the landlady, Frau Spitzner, harvest asparagus. I also got to know the other Army wives. The biggest thing was that I had Stan nine months after I got there. I remember Frau Spitzner took me maternity shopping. We went to several stores, but she would not allow me to buy anything. I would look at something, and she would say, “too much.”

Ellen, Georgia

In the 1930s, I worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps on a road crew near Medora, North Dakota.  A couple of my friends and I asked our supervisor if there was anything else we could do. We were sent to Teddy Roosevelt’s house, which had been moved to the national park. We stayed for a few weeks cutting down cottonwood trees.

Ed, North Dakota

Before washing machines, we washed clothes by hand using lye soap – which we made ourselves. Then there was a ringer that squeezed out the soapy, dirty water. Then we had two round tubs for rinsing clothes, and we wrung them out again. We hung the clothes on the line outside to dry in the summer, or in winter we hung them up in the kitchen, because it was the warmest room in the house. We’d come home from school and we’d have to duck through pant legs because clothes were hanging all over the kitchen until the next day, when Mom would take them down while we were at school.

Arlene, North Dakota

I was seven years old when my dad left Cuba for Florida. My mother told me that he was coming to the United States to find a better job, and for us to have a better life. My mother, my brother, and I stayed back in Cuba for a year. As a child, I wondered, “Why do I have to leave?” I loved Cuba. But we got in a plane in Havana. We flew to Tampa and met my father there.

Nora Wirth, Florida

When we went hunting, we took along a big frying pan, a dozen or two dozen eggs, and two slabs of bacon. We would get some Cuban moss that hung on the trees and use it to clean the frying pan. We would start a fire and put the pan on the fire. We would lay newspaper out on the floor and find forks from tree branches. We would use one fork to pick up the bacon and put it on the paper. Then we would crack the eggs into the bacon grease. When the eggs were done, we would put the eggs between two pieces of white Holsum Bakery bread with a couple pieces of bacon. Daddy would dip the bread into the bacon grease. Today you would never do that. We did.

Fred Wirth, Florida