Tales from Old Soddy: My Depression-Era Childhood

Material Information

Tales from Old Soddy: My Depression-Era Childhood
Series Title:
Tales from Old Soddy: My Depression-Era Childhood
Zimmer, Amy B.
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:

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Source Institution:
Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Tales from Old Soddy: My Depression-Era Childhood | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/7/2015 3:30:38 PM] Home Tales from Old Soddy: My Depression-Era ChildhoodTales from Old Soddy: My Depression-Era ChildhoodSubmitted by bglandon on 6-9-2014 09:18 PMAuthor: Wilma Gundy Publishing: Denver, CO: Tattered Cover Press, 2013. 171 pages. Black-andwhite photographs, illustrations. 6 x 9. $17.95 paperback. Reviewer: Amy B. Zimmer Wilma Gundy has crafted a delightful new memoir about her childhood growing up during the Great Depression. Indeed, her memories are anything but depressing. Although Wilma, her parents, and numerous siblings didnt have many luxuries growing up on various Colorado farmsincluding one where they dwelled in a sod housethey still enjoyed the richness of love and family. Wilma, one of the middle children, tells of her cherished memories of each of her parents, including the rare but extra-special times when she didnt have to share them with her other siblings. Indeed, some of her memories led me to remember little vignettes from my own happy childhood that I had nearly forgotten. The memories arent just Wilmas random reminiscences, however; they give the reader valuable insight into 1930s farm life. For example, Wilma includes her mothers buttermilk biscuit recipe (which I tried bakingthey were delicious). She also tells of the many health hazards associated with farm life and about traditions such as box socials and chivarees. Some of the most enjoyable sections of the book discuss the games Wilma and the other children played. They truly used their imaginations much more than todays children do! Also entertaining is a look at various idioms used at the time, some still familiar but some sounding quite strange to modern ears (knock him skywest and crooked). Even the dust storms, so much a part of farm life during the time, didnt break Wilmas spirits. This would be a good book to share with children; however, parents wanting to avoid uncomfortable discussions may want to omit the chapter Mystery in the Laundry. When she was a young girl Wilma found some items in the farmhand's pants pockets while washing clothes and innocently tried to figure out what they were. The books one drawback is that many of the stories are repeated, not simply referencing an earlier story but completely retelling it as if for the first time. However, the book is a quick read, so this does not prove too much of a burden. Otherwise, Wilma Gundy has penned a fine look at everyday life in 1930s Colorado that deserves a place in libraries and archives alongside other reminiscences and oral histories from this important period in our history. Reviewer Info: Amy B. Zimmer holds an MA degree in U.S. history from the University of Colorado Denver. A Colorado native, she specializes in the history of the state and its architecture. Her newest book is Denvers Historic Homes (Arcadia Publishing, 2013). Zimmer serves on the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission and EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanCasimiro Barela, state senator for over 37 years, fought to ensure Colorados first constitution was published in English, Spanish and German.


Tales from Old Soddy: My Depression-Era Childhood | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/7/2015 3:30:38 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us chairs the Historic Preservation Committee for Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods. Additionally, she works for the Colorado State Library preserving Colorado government documents.