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Old 09-08-2017, 02:53 PM
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Mine were born in the early 1900s. Both were the youngest with many siblings. They were poor. Both of my parents left school when they were just children so they could help around the house, and they were not educated past grade school. I think my dad actually learned to read later in life.

My dad's father was very strict, believed in physical punishment for misbehaving children, and my dad continued that into his own life as a parent, but only with his sons, not his daughters. When my brothers behaved poorly, dad would take them out to the woodshed for a whipping. He'd tell them to get him a switch for this purpose. My oldest brother told me that occasionally dad would just put on a show of punishing them, but he didn't want the rest of the family to know that he could be lenient with the boys. During those trips to the woodshed, they'd just talk for a while and then come back to the house without letting on that they didn't get whipped. The times they did get whipped, you could tell by their behavior when they returned to the house.

We girls were raised for the most part by mom on her own, without dad's input. There was no physical punishment from her, she never even raised her voice, and she didn't have to, as we respected her and did as we were told. She was a good parent and raised us by example. She was a full-time mother, never worked outside the house. She worked all day, every day, taking care of her many kids, sunup to sundown. She was quite spiritual and made sure we all attended Sunday school and church. We were allowed to make our own mistakes and learn from them. They were not helicopter parents by any means.

They were both frugal, never wasted a penny, lived within their means, never borrowed, and never spoiled their kids with "stuff." They lived simply. I feel lucky to have had them for parents.
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:54 PM
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,443,611 times
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Originally Posted by allenk893 View Post
What era did your parents grow up in and what were they like?

Curious from the seniors here what era your parents grew up in, how were they raised, and what were they like as parents themselves? Do you see any similarities with how you parented?

I was reading an autobiography of someone that grew up in the early 20th century with normal parents that weren't these messed up, fighting, crazy, abusive, drunks, that I've always read about with children who grew up in those times. Her parents actually loved her, were very protective, and had it somewhat "together" so to speak, even though they were working class.
My parents were born in 1921 and 1923. During the Great Depression after the banks locked their doors, they eventually foreclosed on farms, which began the Grapes of Wraith migration. My parents' families were forced onto the road when they were tweens. So coming 'of age' was as migratory farm-workers on the West Coast.

My parents had multiple-marriages and divorces. They were physically abusive to their children. Untrusting of banks and lawyers. Frugal, stingy hoarders.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:07 PM
Location: Eugene, Oregon
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They were both born in the 1890s and I think they were old, all their lives. They had been repressed in every way, by Victorianism. Three of my grandparents were also old when they were born and that made things even worse. Anything that had any connection to sex was taboo. Nothing that gave pleasure or that was at all frivolous was allowed. Self-expression and activities that might draw attention to one's self, were discouraged.

Of course, they were ultra-conservative republicans and were bigoted against anyone or anything that was different from their own narrow selves. I've never known two more miserable people in my life. Looking at those my own age in the neighborhood, it was as though we were growing up in two different worlds. I learned better than to want anything, either a material object or the opportunity to go somewhere and do something, because the answer was always "No". Once in while, they bought something for me, but it was usually something that they, not I, wanted me to have.

There was no joy in the kind of life they imposed. Younger people today should realize how bad things were just a century ago in our society and be glad that their lives are now much more free.

Last edited by Steve McDonald; 09-08-2017 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:11 PM
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,868 posts, read 14,371,350 times
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Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
My mom, born in 1910, and my dad, born in 1915, grew up in St. Louis with several siblings in working class families. My mom's dad was one of the city's first Boy Scout leaders. He was a strong union man (shoe factory) and she became a labor union activist in the city's garment industry along with her older sister. She was borderline socialist but really didn't know it because labels were not thrown around as much back then. She played a violin but gave it up . She never learned to drive.

My dad was raised up in Lutheran schools and had a strong basic education. He began working for the railroad in his teens and stayed his entire life, becoming management, except for several years in WW2. He was in the Glider Infantry at Bastogne but never talked much about his war experiences. I know he was in Berlin when the Russians were pulling out. The first time he flew in a commercial plane he said it was actually the first time he properly landed...he usually jumped out or they crashed the thing in a field. He hated cold weather and snow after Bastogne.

My parents were opposites in some ways but it worked. They came from stable and loving families and were stable and loving as parents. They talked about the depression but managed just like everyone else. We took long road trips because my dad liked to drive but we never had really great cars so I recall being broken down on the side of the road a few times. I have an older brother and we had a large collie dog named Lassie...it was sort of a "Leave it to Beaver" existence. We lived with my Grandma for several years and then moved to the suburbs after the post-war housing shortage ended. My dad managed Little League teams and was a St. Louis Browns fan before they became to Baltimore Orioles (I recall seeing the Browns at Sportsmen's Park). He was also a Boy Scout leader and my mom was a Den Mother in Cub Scouts. My bother and I both graduated from college...first in the family.

My parents had a good life but their retirement was marked by illness and time in a nursing home. That's why I decided to retire as early as possible (at 52). My wife died when I was 58 so that was a good decision. My wife and I had a daughter in 1984...first girl born in the family since 1922 and my parents were excited to have a girl and were great as grandparents for the time they had left.

My wife's family was similar but her mom died when she was 14 and things fell apart for several years. She had strong grandparents who jumped in and added some stability until things improved. I think she would say she had a good childhood and she worked her way through college. We married a little later than most -- for 31 years -- and had good parenting role models.
I enjoyed your post. I remember at least a couple of games at Sportsmen's Park, but they were Cardinal games. We all wanted Musial to hit a home run, and I think he did once. I also saw a Cubs home run caught by a guy in the bleachers, barehanded. I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis. Those were simpler times, no?
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:39 PM
Location: New Mexico
6,564 posts, read 3,662,092 times
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Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I enjoyed your post. I remember at least a couple of games at Sportsmen's Park, but they were Cardinal games. We all wanted Musial to hit a home run, and I think he did once. I also saw a Cubs home run caught by a guy in the bleachers, barehanded. I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis. Those were simpler times, no?
Indeed they were.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:40 PM
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Mom was born in 1919, dad 1920. Almost a stereotypical country music song. She was a coal miners daughter who worked in a ship yard in WW2. He was the son of a sharecropper who met and married her before shipping out overseas. Saved his pay during the war and bought that plot of red dirt ground where he picked cotton as a kid and built a simple house on it. He never graduated high school but was well traveled and well read. Owned a gas station for a while, painted houses, ran a garbage business. Got a job in sales and worked his way up for the rest of his career. When he retired, he became a consultant. Kind of strange that a kid who started out son of a sharecropper and never finished high school was flying to New York, Hawaii, Alaska, Seattle, and such consulting on business.

Mom kept house, cooked our food. Sewed our clothes. We grew a huge garden that we canned each summer and lived the winter off the food mama canned. Boy it was hot in the kitchen during July and August with the steam from the canning, and no AC in the house. But she was a fabulous cook.

Both are gone now. I came along late in their lives, and I miss them terribly. Yes, I've found myself parenting much like my parents did. And my son is growing up to be the spitting image of my dad, even in his mannerisms.
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Old 09-08-2017, 06:23 PM
Location: The South
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My Mother was born in 1897, Father in 1898.Both had something in the order of 6th grade education. Farming background for both.My Father served in WW1, in the famous Rainbow Division, had a year of combat in France and today would be diagnosed as having PTSD. After the war, he drank a good bit, but stopped for good in the late 1930's. He was a fairly good business man, running an Ice & Coal business, then electric refrigerators and natural gas put him out of business and he spent the remainder of his working life in a cotton mill and retired at 65 with no retirement, just SS of about $400/month. My Mother never held a job except housewife and raised five children. Four of the five were fairly successful in life. They were just ordinary people doing what ordinary people did back then.
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:59 PM
Location: Cushing OK
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Mom was born in 1916, Dad a few years before. He was one of the youngest children of farmers, in Alabama. His father was very old school farmer. Sons were for keeping the farm running. The family was large, and all the kids had their work keeping it going. When he was sixteen, he wanted some money of his own. His father 'rented' him some land, and he grew a crop on it, all by himself. When it was sold, his father kept the money. Dad went to see his mother, and told her he was leaving. Then he went into town and joined the Navy. His father never figured out why. This was before the war as well, and he became a raidoman.

Mom was raised with Hollywood nearby. Her dad was a master costumer for one of the studios. He also did set dressing. He could tell if everything on the set was of the same time period. Mom said he was a miserable companion while watching movies since he loved picking out all the mistakes.

My grandmother's family had come to California in pieces, but they had all gathered in the San Pedro area, and most of the inland family had joined them. They were related through my grandmother. Mom met Dad at a dance and they married soon after. They lived with my grandmother for a time, until the war started. Everyone liked my Dad and welcomed him into the family. He introduced his family to Mom too, and by then his father had died.

He was front line in most of the island landings as the allies took back what Japan had taken. Once I ask him what it was like. He said it was noisy. There was blood. He never said more. But he would get quiet and look away. He didn't like war movies either and would leave the room if they were on. I've read some descriptions of what he saw, and seem drawn to them, maybe to understand him a little better.

Dad got out of the navy, and settled down in Los Angeles with mom. TV's were just newly being sold. He learned to fix them, and had a repair business. He said a lot of times the only thing wrong was they hadn't plugged them in. I was born when he had the shop. Then he was contacted about a job with Locheed, using his commuications background. He stayed and worked for several aerospace companies, but was part of the team who sent us up in the first manned rockets and also part of those who was there when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. He was also one of those invited to be part of the team which studied the explosion of the one Apollo capsul.

I got sick about 16, and continued to be sick the last year of high school. I started and had to drop classes for the next year. I eventually got sick enough it was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. Eventually I got treatment and surgery and couldn't wait to go back to school. But Mom wasn't well. We tried to get her to a doctor but she wouldn't go.

I had started out with history, but was taking programming classes. I was sick one day, and stayed home. Mom said she felt very unwell. We went to emergency, and they gave her something, and she was to see her doctor on Monday. That evening, she just....crumpled....like every bit of strength had faded. The hospital found a burst artery. It had probably been there some time.

I almost quit school for the semester but Dad said no. Dad just faded. He'd talk about her like she was there. She was just out. She was cooking dinner. My friend and I were both working when I told Dad I wanted to move. I came as much as I could, but he was failing quickly. My friend had found a boyfriends and was going to move. Mine moved in. Dad was very much shocked. He and I would go and have dinner, talk to him, take him out. You never knew which Dad you'd see that day.

It was heartbreaking seeing my big strong Dad crumble to pieces. But before that, he up and moved to Vegas.

Last time I saw him out of the hospital, he was himself, and was even good to my friend. He'd lost his dad when he was in his teens. But Dad was put in the hospital for tests, his 'doctor' having done none. He had cancer, a very agressive sort.

We moved him back to California and I saw him when I could. But mostly he looked at me and asked who I was. Didn't remember me. But he believed Mom was there with him. At least he felt like he wasn't alone. He died a little while later.

My fiance and I called it off, and I married our best friend. Dad hadn't met him. After a good start and a son, it fell apart. I would have given anything to have the love and quiet caring between my parents, and the way they couldn't go on without the other.

My son is now married and someday will decide its time for the kids. Currently their kid is a nearly 100 pound puppy. He's doing great, and lives states away. I miss him. My cousins were close and I miss them too, scattered at first but now all back in the same area.

I think my parents would both love their grandchild and wish him the love they had.
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:57 PM
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My parents were born toward the end of the Great Depression. They were small children during WW2 and teens during the late 40s and early 50s. They were more into crooners and jazz than rock during their teen years but as young adults they switched to rock and folk. Although technically Silents they were wanna be Boomers, and I can remember when I was a kid some of their circle of friends were bona fide Boomers.

They were "progressive" parents, initially Dr. Spock stuff but later more radical. Whereas, their parents were no where near this. My Mom's parents were Lost Gen and were sort of detached, although strict in terms of house rules. My Dad's parents were GIs / Greatest and were a bit wilder around the house. My Grandpa liked to soup up cars with my Dad and uncle helping out. That household were also complete sports nuts.

I can remember smelling weed late at night and hearing guitars strumming, with laughter and singing.

Although they did weed as far as I know they did not do any hard drugs.

They both had advanced degrees and worked initially in the airline business but later in high tech.

My first rock concert was with my parents. I seem to recall it was at the Stanford Amphitheater. It was "their" music, not mine. Hippie stuff (my music, at the time, being, classic Metal and Glitter, with a bit of Beatles thrown in). I saw a guy with really long hair, facial hair, tie died clothing, with a substantial bong made of bamboo.

Last edited by BayAreaHillbilly; 09-08-2017 at 10:33 PM..
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Old 09-09-2017, 04:53 AM
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I am finding this thread so interesting. I have always wondered about the historical times that anyone came up in, how they were affected, what happened for them outside of their own psyches. Great to read.
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