My father rarely talked about what life was like for him growing up in the 1920s and ’30s. Recently, my cousin, Lynn (Roggenbuck) Erbach, sent me a copy of notes written by my father’s sister, Arline (Robenhagen) Roggenbuck. The pages from her notebook gave me an insight into the joys and struggles of life back then. Here, in her own words, are more of her memories:
“I shared a bedroom with my sister Olga until she left home to marry. During the earlier years, our bed was far from comfortable. Our mattress was ticking filled with cornhusks. No Beauty Rest mattresses for us. As we turned, the dry cornhusks would snap and crackle. Usually at harvest time, the mattress would be filled with new husks.
“The Depression years were tough. There was little money to buy anything new. One year, my mother spent a total of $5 for her years clothing. $1 for a cheap pair of shoes, $1.95 for a corset she needed due to backaches, and the remainder for dress material.