The Early Years by Leona H—–

TitleThe Early Years
Author: Leona H—–
Genre: memoir
ISBN: none (not really a published work)
Length: 49 pages
Published: 1999
Source: mother-in-law
Rating: 4/5
Resolutions/Challenges: Memoir/Biography Resolution

Reason for Reading: Leona is my husband’s great-aunt. My mother-in-law’s aunt died a few months ago and her family started passing this little memoir around the larger family. And I was slightly interested. Plus, it counts towards my Memoir/Biography Resolution!

Summary: Born in 1929, Leona H—– grew up in rural northwest Ohio. Growing up in a farming family during the Depression and time of WWII, she experienced agriculture before many of the machines we have today were available. While she grew up in a small-town atmosphere where everyone knew everyone, she did have some great adventures. Like when she went to NYC and saw Frank Sinatra in the Stork Club after she graduated from high school. Much of her story focuses on how life used to be. She doesn’t compare it to her later life, like 12 years ago when she wrote this memoir. But she focused on many things that would not be permissible today, such as her experiences in school when they skated on the river for recess or the bus driver waiting on her to finish her morning chores.

My Thoughts: I found this more interesting than I thought I would. I think that I will always be interested in the lives people led in the early- and mid-20th century. That sort of lifestyle was just so different than what we see today. And I really do wish, sometimes, that life could be more like that. There are some simplicities I wish we could have. While I love computers, cell phones, and social networking, I honestly sometimes wish I was back in elementary school when I didn’t have to deal with all the technology. Why are we so caught up in other people’s lives? (I do admit, that I would like to keep the TV over a radio, though.)

And granted my lifetime isn’t nearly over (hopefully!), I feel like the world changed more from the 1930s to the 1990s than it will change from the 1980s to the 2060s (hopefully I reach at least 80!). I honestly don’t think that I will see flying cars or Jetson-esque living.

Oh, and another plus of reading this memoir: there was some information about her lineage. So when I actually research my husband’s genealogy later on, this will help! I know when and from where his great-great-grandparents hail in Germany! Which is more than I can say I know about my own great-great-grandparents (who also came from Germany).


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