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The Road I Grew Up On
a documentary project by Helen D. Gunderson

Oral History Comments


Neighbors and others gather around cornpickers and tractors on
a day of helping
a farm family with a death or illness harvest corn,
circa 1940s or 1950s.

Click on any photo on this page for a larger image.

 
 
Jim Hudson
was an attorney in a family of a long line of attorneys. He lived from 1925-2010 and was interviewed circa 1993 at his office in Pocahontas, Iowa, as part of a Pocahontas Public Library project about Main Street Pocahontas. Length: one minute, 39 seconds.  listen
 
       

 

 
  Marjorie (George) Simonson
was a homemaker and retired dietician, who lived from 1925-2010 and was interviewed circa 1993 at her home in Pleasant Hill, Iowa. She grew up on the road Helen grew up on and talks about how her mother, Marjorie George, was ahead of her time socially. Length: two minutes, 27 seconds.  listen
 
       
       
 
Lavonne (Page) Howland
was a homemaker and cake decorator, who lived from 1936-2009 and was interviewed circa 1993 at her home in Rolfe, Iowa. She grew up on the road Helen grew up on and talks about the hard work of women when the threshing crew came to their farms. Length: three minutes, 17 seconds.  listen
 
       
 
Wanda (Peers) Hodgell
was a homemaker, reader, writer and gardener, who lived from 1921-2011 and was interviewed circa 1993 at her farm home southwest of Gilmore City, Iowa. She grew up on the road Helen grew up on and, when her husband was a hired hand for Helen's grandparents in the early 1940s, Wanda lived on the Gunderson home place farm. She talks about the cycles of life. Length: two minutes, 22 seconds. listen
 
     
   
  Cap and Addie Grant Don Grant  
 

Don Grant was an engineering professor at Iowa State University. He lived from
1919-2001 and was interviewed in 1992 at his home in Ames. He grew up on the road Helen grew up on and was a childhood crony of Helen's father. In this piece, he talks about the farm roles of his parents, Cap and Addie Grant. Length: two minutes, 21 seconds. 
listen

 
     
   
  Dennis Sefcik talks about his mother Agnes (Bunda) Sefcik
Dennis is a Catholic Priest in northwest Iowa, born circa 1937. As a child, he lived for two years along the road where Helen grew up when his parents rented land there. In this piece, recorded in 1992 at the rectory in Laurens, he talks about his mother, Agnes, learning to manage the family land following the death of her husband, Adolph Sefcik, who died in 1966 at the age of 57. She lived from 1909 to 2007. Length: four minutes, 44 seconds. listen
 
 

 

 
   
 

Mary Jane (King) and Russ Jordan
Mary Jane was a homemaker, farmer, gardener, and retired school teacher, who lived from 1919-1995. Russ was a farmer, who lived from 1919-2008. They were featured in a documentary film Troublesome Creek, A Midwestern produced by their daughter Jeanne Jordan and her husband Steven Ascher in 1995. They were interviewed in 1992 at their home in Atlantic, Iowa, and talk about how they met each other and their roles on the farm. From 1951 to 1975, they rented land near the road Helen grew up on and raised their six children there. Then they moved back to the Atlantic area to farm the Jordan homeplace farm. Length: five minutes, 59 seconds. listen

 
       
   
 

Velma (Benton) and Verle Howard
Velma was a homemaker, accountant, farmer, gardener, quilter, school and nursing home cook. She was born in 1925. Verle was a farmer, who lived from 1924-2009. Interviewed circa 1992 at their farm home near Rolfe. They tell the story of the time when Velma stopped raising chickens to sell to friends. Velma and Verle had moved back to the Rolfe area in 1962 after living in the Philippines, where Verle had been the power plant manager for Voice of America. They moved to a home in Rolfe in 1998. Their farm was on the road where Helen grew up. Length: three minutes, 20 seconds. listen

 
       
   
 

Paul Harrold and Marjorie (Davis) Harrold
Paul is a farmer, born circa 1951. Marjorie was a homemaker, farmer, gardener, and seamstress, who lived from 1927-2012. Interviewed circa 1993 at their farm home near Rolfe, Iowa. In this segment, they tell about Marjorie's role on the farm during the war years of the early 1940s. Their homeplace farm is on the road where Helen grew up. Length: four minutes, 15 seconds. listen

 
       
   
 

Norine (Arnold) and Joe Reigelsberger
Norine was a homemaker, interior designer, prize-winning cinnamon roll maker, seamstress, gardener, and farm accountant and ambassador. She lived from 1930-2012. Joe is a retired Pioneer seed salesman and farmer, born circa 1928. Interviewed in 1992 at their farm home near Rolfe, Iowa. In this segment, they talk about Norine's early career, then her later roles on the farm. Norine and Joe moved into Rolfe later in 1992. Their son Mick and his wife Sue now live on the Reigelsberger farm that also serves as the headquarters for Reigelsberger Seed business that sells Pioneer products. The farm is along the road where Helen grew up. Length: three minutes, 21 seconds.  listen

 
     
  See a video about women in agriculture that Helen
prepared in April 2015 and has posted on YouTube.
 

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