A Journey From Mind to Paper

It began at the beach in 2016 — the beginning of a realization that I could scratch off my bucket list one of my most cherished dreams — writing a book about my life. I started to seriously think about my moldy dream, an idea that had festered and moved ever forward in my brain for years while other important milestones were reached and surpassed. I’d resurrected that dream a few times with a new business and some individual writing projects through the years, but in 2016 it was time to get serious if it was ever going to happen.

The "Betty" Award

In my senior year at Lincoln High School, I was the recipient of a $1,500 college scholarship as the Nebraska statewide winner of the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow contest. This scholarship program, which focused on the “forgotten career of homemaking,”  ran from 1955 through 1977.

Things Our Mothers Told Us

Things Our Mothers Told Us —   I’m sure most of you remember your childhood, but probably not through the eyes of your mothers. However, you might remember some of the following iconic phrases our mothers used in the 1950’s to get us to do what they told us, or to stop doing something we weren’t supposed to be doing. All the while our mothers would stand there with hands on their hips, occasionally wagging their finger at us as they spoke.

Family Tradition

A most memorable Heckman family tradition was our Christmas Eve celebration. Both sides of my maternal and paternal grandparents were Germans from Russia. All had immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900’s. The Kolb family (maternal grandfather) came from Laub, Russia around 1907. They brought all their old world Christmas traditions with them to their new home in America.

Summer Sundays

Summer Sundays:  In the 1950’s we had many family traditions as well as chores and duties. For example, my brother and I were expected to make our beds each morning and do our homework by ourselves each evening before bed. And we didn’t have calculators to help with our math homework.  We also didn’t have a dishwasher, so we had to take turns clearing the table after dinner and drying the dishes with our mom or dad (they also took turns).

Growing Up on Washington Street

I believe that those of my generation, i.e., born in the 1940’s and early 50’s, were very lucky because we were perhaps the last generation to have enjoyed a carefree, innocent childhood during the family-centered era of the 1950’s.  

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