Things You Need to Hear
Collected Memories of Growing Up in Arkansas, 1890–1980
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Arkansas Press
Title Page, Copyright
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In 2005 an exhibit devoted to growing up in Arkansas was added to the Old State House Museum exhibit schedule. The next step was to find a curator. The museum was fortunate in securing the skills of Dr. Margaret Bolsterli, a native Arkansan widely known for her expertise as...
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Introduction: We Remember
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An enduring memory from my early childhood is the sound of my mother’s soft voice telling about her childhood as she did housework. When it was rainy, or too hot to be outside, or we were sick or bored, my brother and I would nag at her to “tell us what it was like when you were little,”...
1. Community and Memory [Includes Image Plates]
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Since memories of community provide the framework for all the others, the pleasures and pains associated with it form some of the oldest memories that many people carry to their graves. The family, the yard, the house, the workplace, and the school all exist in some kind of community that sets the standards...
2. Family and Memory
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Memories of family frequently begin with the dinner table and the food on it, often lovingly described for its variety, provenance, and methods of preparation. It is worth noting that people who grew up poor during the Depression but had enough to eat are careful to mention this. ...
3. Work and Memory
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Most children were expected to take responsibilities around the house and yard for the common good of the family. From an early age they washed dishes and clothes, milked cows, fed chickens, gathered eggs, pumped water, drew water from wells, and even cleaned out wells; in short, they did whatever...
4. School and Memory
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School is a major component of the collective memory. Until well into the twentieth century, getting an education beyond the eighth grade could not be taken for granted in rural Arkansas. Because of mud, roads were usually impassible for much of the winter, and most could not afford to board...
5. Play and Memory
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Before television and computers and cell phones provided easy entertainment, people had to find ways to entertain themselves. Country children were especially ingenious at it.
Play in the private arena of family and home for both town and country children frequently involved nature and freedom...
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So what conclusions are to be drawn from the varied accounts related here of growing up in Arkansas on the cusp of electronic diversions? The world changed between 1890 and 1980, and the purpose here has been to make observations, not value judgments, about the changes. ...
List of Informants
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Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2012