I remember my grandma telling me about the first airplane she saw. Do you remember any stories your parent or grandparent told you?


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Ancient Hippy Profile
Ancient Hippy answered

I remember my dad talking about his first talkie movie and the first time he saw a TV set.

Anna Levi Profile
Anna Levi answered

My mum likes to tell me how she used to wash her clothes in the bath because she didn't have a washing machine

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Ancient Hippy
Ancient Hippy commented
My mom used to bathe me in the kitchen sink.
Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
We had an old-fashioned laundry when I was a kid (during the 1940s). It just had a copper and two tubs. By the time I'd started work in 1952 and we could afford a washing machine my mother wouldn't have one because she thought they wouldn't get the clothes clean. We eventually got her to use one but not for quite a few years.
HappyTo BeHereTo
HappyTo BeHereTo commented
Cool story Didge!
My great grandma made Grandpa clean out the outhouse for every visit. You just don't do that indoors!!
Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered

I came along so late (Dad was 52, Mum was 40) that I only met one of my grandparents a couple of times and don't remember him.

My mother told a few stories about her life in the country but Dad never told us anything of his past life.

I know that he fought in Flanders in WWI, was caught in a mustard gas attack which blinded him in one eye, and that he had a shrapnel wound in one leg. He worked on Australia's first census (think it was in 1912) which he did on horseback in the far north. And I think it was at that time he was riding in a thunderstorm and lightning killed his horse but he was able to walk away.

My mother grew up on a sheep property near Bingara in country New South Wales and told a few stories of country life, some of which may have been true. I found this photograph of her in the NSW Public Library archives. It was taken in 1912. She's the young woman on the right of the wagon and that's her home on top of the hill.

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
Thanks folks. Dad used to talk about how great Halley's Comet had been when he saw it in 1910 and I always wanted to see it for myself. When it finally arrived in 1986 it was a disappointing fizzer. I guess I'll have to try to hang on till it comes back in another 45 years. I hope you can put up with me that long :(
HappyTo BeHereTo
HappyTo BeHereTo commented
Of course!
I saw a couple of comets, including Halley's. It was interesting, but more for the science and rarity than for the show.
Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
otis campbell Profile
otis campbell answered

yes my mother use to talk about wringer washers

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
Which were the basis for all those stories about well-endowed young women turning the handle too enthusiastically and getting parts of their anatomy caught in the wringer. >:-/
HappyTo BeHereTo
HappyTo BeHereTo commented
Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
I can remember when my mother retired the old scrub board, and we got our first washer! Yes the ringer was fascinating to me, the clothes would come out of it so FLAT!
Then to the clothesline which my father had sunk cedar poles making a T...wires strung between them...very upscale for those days, all the conveniences.
Not far from the chicken coop.
Yin And Yang Profile
Yin And Yang answered

The ones I always thought was crazy was the ones like my dad going to a vending machine at the age of 6 and buying my grandma a pack of cigarettes while she was recovering in the hospital. Or my mom would have me sitting in a little chair in the middle of the car driving..... No infant car seats or seat belts!

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HappyTo BeHereTo
HappyTo BeHereTo commented
Oh, yeah! Doctors would be smoking during your exam!!!! That's nuts!
Yin And Yang
Yin And Yang commented
PJ Stein
PJ Stein commented
We had a restaurant two doors down from us. I remember going down there and getting my mom cigarettes from the vending machine.
Veronica Dultry Profile
Veronica Dultry answered

My father was a late in life baby, his nearest siblings were 18 years old when he was born. My grandfather died when my daddy was 18, and my grandmother died when daddy was only 30. Some of my favorite old time stories came from his childhood. My grandparents were farmers who at one time or another owned dairy farms around Hanford, California. When things got tough they (my grandmother included) would work as day laborers for the various yearly crops that would come in.

I remember hearing from my uncles about how after my father was born, times were tough and my grandmother had to pick cotton. She would get a burlap sack make a cotton boll bed on it and she would lay my father on it, so she could pick cotton. She would move him row after row as she picked.

One of his first chores when he was about 3 or 4 was emptying out the milk pails after the morning milking. He would take said pail and run as fast as his little legs would carrying him and empty his milk out into a big bin. As he went the local barn cats would lie in wait for him in hopes of a free meal. By the time he'd get to the bin, he'd be pulling cats out of his milk because the added weight was just too much for his little arms.

When my grandfather died unexpectedly, my daddy took over the whole dairy farm and ran the whole place for a few years, he used to say that the farm didn't care that his daddy had died the night before. The cows still had to be milked the livestock needed to be fed. Life moved on whether you liked it it not.

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HappyTo BeHereTo
HappyTo BeHereTo commented
Dragonfly, that was so well told. Thank you. I came from a farming family on my mother's side. The labor was extensive for the children.
Virginia Lou
Virginia Lou commented
That really takes you into those times, Dragonfly
Veronica Dultry
Veronica Dultry commented
Thank you both. I still go to Hanford, while there it's as if my body and soul know that my people worked those fields.
Abigail Connor Profile
Abigail Connor answered

My great grandfather told me many stories of his life in his early 20's. My favorite was the story of how he met his wife. It was the early 1900's in a lower middle class town, so writing a letter or walking all over town was the quickest way to deliver news; a friend had asked him to inform a girl he wouldn't get off work until late, so he walked up to her house and relayed the message, but upon seeing how upset she was about it decided to take her to dinner himself. A few others included his time in the coal mines responsible for my towns founding and when he was working in the marine corps in Japan during world War II

Virginia Lou Profile
Virginia Lou answered

Dear Happy,

I am actually old enough to be telling those stories, and the first time a plane ever came over SW Washington was during the Korean War, maybe 1951? My father called out the whole family to see it...I would have been around five or six.

Around the same time, he took us to ride on the train because the engines were changing from steam to diesel. Great affection here for steam engines, so powerful almost infinite. The engine which dragged logs from the forest was called a steam donkey, and the donkey puncher's job was to get every last ounce of power.

So; boiling the water down meant more pressure of steam in the engine and more power, but when the water was gone...well...the steam engine exploded! Some said the woods was more dangerous than a war zone...I grew up with the term "widow-maker."

* * *

This is a little Dolbeer steam donkey, early, named after its inventor. But later the steam donkeys could be so huge that the sled the man is standing on? That wooden runner, I have seen them taller than your head!

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