A Girl's Gotta Do What a Girl's Gotta Do

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AuthorHouse, 2009 - Fiction - 364 pages
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My mother, Nadine Baker, is a true child of the Great Depression. She was in the third grade when the stock market crashed and her father saw his business fail and lost everything. Forced to return to the bosom of family in rural Indiana, they found a very different life.

Electricity had revolutionized life for urban America but rural America would not see such progress for decades to come. Sanitary sewers, a public water supply, and indoor plumbing were unknown in rural America. So, just imagine moving, as a third grader, from a modern home in a modern city to a house with hand pumped water, a kerosene stove, kerosene lamps and, an out-house!


Although television had yet to be invented, the radio had proven to be a formidable medium for informing and entertaining the people and, even without wired electricity, a battery powered set was present in many homes. It was also about this time that the first commercial talkies' came along motion pictures with sound. Visits to the movie theater were an occasional treat for most and it was there that the movie newsreels added visuals to the news they otherwise only heard on the radio or read in the newspapers. Mother first saw the true horror of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, via these newsreels. They provided a tremendous additional source of information as World War II progressed. Brave field reporters shot footage of many military actions including the invasion of Normandy.

Hollyhock wisdom, while based on her childhood and early adulthood, is a fictionalized version of her life in those hard times. It represents her, and my, best attempt to illustrate that life. It amazes me how the attitudes presented by people of those times seem to persist in America to this day.

Stephen E. Baker


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