Life in the Fifties on the North Dakota Prairie
Growing up in N.D. in the fifties provided memories of 3-day snowstorms creating tunnels of only a one-way passage; getting horses hitched to a stone boat to pull us to school; raising ducklings to learn the process of life; and winning snowball fights with the boys.
School meant competition
Although we lived in a rural area with homes two-three miles apart, we all seemed to be friends in and out of school. But school meant competition. The school was a grade 1-12 with a high of 80 students and a low of 45 students.
Learning and competition were true satisfactions. The school climate helped us stretch beyond the daily lessons. We were curious kids. Friends and family were the focus in the reading scenarios with Dick and Jane Series, Spot, the spaniel, and Puff, the calico cat.
Our lives and loves were simple
Kids frolicking with their friends and beloved pets happened in our vivid imaginations as the story moved ahead, after school on the playground and at home. Our lives and loves were simple. Some of the reading was expanded with “Friends and Neighbors” and “More Friends and Neighbors” as we matured into the middle grades. The same themes spiraled throughout each volume. The important aspect was the concepts of friends, neighbors, and family were presented positively, so we learned what happy could be.
As we advanced, the joys and thrills turned into the reality that life also had its strife and disappointments in its pathway. We realized that growing up would have its joys and challenges as well. Knowledge of family issues was in existence, but not exposed usually. In fact it was covered up.
About the age of twelve I realized my happy childhood was not the experience of my father discovered quite stealthily over time.
Fractured Memories: A story of tolerance, integrity, and talents – by Carolyn Rebholz