Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Buddy’s Stories: Growing Up in Jefferson City in the 1940s

Everyone has a story. This is Buddy’s.

Meet Buddy: a bike-riding, towheaded, everyday kid growing up on Elm Street during World War II. Everyone he knows is a proud American, including his German-immigrant grandparents. Life on the Southside isn’t rosy, but people do what they can to get by—and Buddy and his friends grow up learning to reduce, reuse, and recycle . . . to be self-sufficient . . . and to help others.

Generous with details, the geographer and historian Walter A. Schroeder—nicknamed “Buddy” in his youth—shares his personal memories of growing up in Jefferson City, Missouri. His descriptions will resonate with people who remember those simpler times, and they will cause others to reflect on what we lost as the years went by.

These 42 brief essays cover an array of topics about Jefferson City places, everyday life, the effects of World War II, and expressions of patriotism. How did families make ends meet? How did kids participate in the war effort? What was it like to have bread, eggs, milk, and coal delivered, to make sauerkraut in the basement, to be fitted for shoes with commercial X-ray machines? What did kids do for fun? How did the old Missouri River Bridge rotate, and what was it like to go to the dime store?

Engagingly written, enhanced by the judgment of a professional historian, and illustrated with 72 photos, maps, and scrapbook mementos, Buddy’s Stories is a vibrant perspective on Jefferson City history . . . and a fond commemoration of the way things used to be.

“I helped my grandfather make beer while Doctor Hill came to our house and brought my brother Walter Albert Schroeder into the world. He cost twenty-five dollars. My parents got a bargain, and I got a ‘buddy.’”
—Richard A. Schroeder, older brother

“This book is a real treasure. Buddy treats us to recollections of our community. It is as if he, Richard, and I are sitting together talking about the old days.”
—Thomas K. Schroeder, younger brother

SEPT. 28 AND 29, 2018

AUTHOR SIGNING 10:30 a.m. to Noon Sept. 29
at the Old Munichburg booth

Published in 2018 by the Old Munichburg Association
200 pages; 70 photographs, maps, and illustrations


michelle newberry said...

Interestingly I came across this book yesterday while waiting to purchase a gift certificate at Vines on Broadway. After leafing through a few pages, I decided to purchase it for my father (b 1938), who also grew up in the 1940s. I thought he would get a kick out of it as he also tells stories of running around town all day, swinging on vines and playing around the railroad tracks on the banks of the Missouri River.
However I decided to read it first and was just thrilled to find mention on my grandmother, Mary Herbrandt whom as you wrote, sold eggs and other farm goods in town. Both my grandfather John and my grandmother each had their regular "customers" and made deliveries of eggs, chickens, butter and garden vegetables every Saturday. My mother tells a story of one particularly icy winter Saturday when they somehow slipped getting the egg box out of the trunk, breaking all of the eggs inside. My grandmother sat down on the sidewalk and cried as this had effectively wiped out their weekly income.
What a lovely memoir. Thanks so much for sharing these Jeff City stories.
Michelle Newberry

Julianna Schroeder said...

Wow, Michelle, thank you so much for commenting and sharing this unforgettable story. I was at Vines last night (3/21) and must have just missed you. (It was pretty busy in there . . .) They mentioned someone had just purchased a copy! I'm glad you are enjoying the book, and I'll pass your comment along to my father.
Best regards,
Julie Schroeder

Unknown said...

It's a wonderful book for JC old-timers. Recommending it to all my townie relatives and friends.

Julianna Schroeder said...

Thank you for your kind comment! We just filled another order for my Dad's books at Downtown Book & Toy. You'll be interested to know that another book is currently in copyediting, too. Hopefully that will be released sometime this year.