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Excerpted from State Historical Society of Missouri Newsletter, Vol 3, No 3, Nov, 2002.

Last September 4, the Columbia Daily Tribune's Food Sleuth, Melinda Hemmelgarn, asked her readers if they had "fond memories of their grandparents." She reminded her readers that the Sunday after Labor Day is national Grandparents Day . . . She suggested interviewing grandparents and recording family history.

...To satisfy a high school class assignmnet, my younger daughter interviewed her paternal grandmother about how the Great Depression affected her parents, who had lived on a grain and dairy farm about twelve miles northwest of Freeport, IL, the town where my mother worked as a bookkeeper.

To my daughter's amnazement, her grandmother did not talk about apple sellers, soup lines, or hoboes, although she did remember that her parents fed gypsies who camped on the farm during that time. Grandmother Goodrich's recollection included a revelation that surprised my daughter: my mother said that her parents'lives were not drastically changed. Food off the farm including that taken from the garden and orchard, assured that they never went hungry. Always frugal, about the only concession my material grandparents made to the depression was lengthening the time between trips to town. Certainly some families came through the Depression with less harsh day to day existences than others.

Take a cue from the Food Sleth. Feed and nurture your family history by interviewing grandparents. Ask questions of your aunts, uncles, and cousins. Do not wait until it is too late to record the stories that you and future gen4erations will want to know.

James W. Goodrich
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