While the book is in production I’ve decided to share a taste of these fabulous stories by giving a peek into one decade a week for the next 10 weeks. Enjoy!
100 Years in the Life of an American Girl:
True Stories 1910 – 2010
Chapter Two: The 1920s
Julia was an only child growing up in Indiana, and one of her favorite things to do was climb trees — even if she had to wear skirts and bloomers.
There were no girls in my area, and my friends from school lived out in the country. Bobby and David lived next door, Keith lived down the block, and the McNutt boys lived across the street. Merlin was my favorite. He gave me the aluminum foil seals under the Ovaltine lids until I had enough to send for a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring.
We made tents from old sheets and yard furniture and took turns being cowboys and Indians. We ran through the pasture dodging cow pies to reach our island in the middle of the field. A raised piece of ground where a clump of trees grew was a desert oasis or an ocean island for castaways. None of us had ever seen an ocean but we imagined it looked something like our meadow only blue. On hot afternoons one of the boy’s mothers would bring out a big pitcher of fruit punch. We would sit cross-legged on the grass under the lilac bushes to enjoy our drinks.
Climbing trees was my favorite thing to do. I knew all the good trees to climb. Maples are the best. The branches are low enough to grab to hoist yourself up and the limbs extend from the trunk at perfect intervals like the rungs of a ladder.
Girls never wore trousers in the ‘20s, you just didn’t do it. How I envied the boys their overalls. Skirts were a real handicap for climbing trees, even with bloomers with elastic at the waist and just above the knees. Boys could shinny up a tree trunk without scraping their knees, but I had to wrestle with a skirt that snagged on twigs and hampered my ascent. Mother always cautioned me to keep my skirt down and my knees together. I never understand that. It’s impossible when you’re climbing from branch to branch in a skirt.
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