By Edith Bradley Rendleman
From All anyone Ever sought after of Me used to be to Work... "Starting round 1950, humans stopped elevating chickens, milking cows, and elevating hogs. they simply purchase it on the shop, able to devour. much purchase a steer and feature it processed in Dongola and positioned it of their freezer. What a distinction! women have gotten it really easy now. they do not even comprehend what it was once wish to start off. and that i wager my mother's existence, whilst she began, was once as difficult back as mine, simply because that they had to make every thing via hand. i do not comprehend if it will possibly get any more straightforward for those women. yet they do not know what it was once like, they usually by no means will. every little thing is packaged. All you do is visit the shop and purchase you a package deal and cook dinner it. computerized washers and dryers. i am happy they do not have to paintings like I did. Very glad." Edith Bradley Rendleman's tale of her existence in southern Illinois is impressive in lots of methods. Recalling the 1st half the 20th century in nice aspect, she vividly cites vignettes from her adolescence as her kin moved from farm to farm until eventually settling in 1909 within the Mississippi bottoms of Wolf Lake. She recounts the lives and instances of her kin and pals in the course of an period long gone forever.Remarkable for the vibrant information that evoke the prior, Rendleman's account is uncommon in one other appreciate: memoirs of the time—usually written through humans from elite or city families—often reek of nostalgia. yet Rendleman's memoir differs from the norm. Born terrible in rural southern Illinois, she tells an unvarnished story of what it was once quite like becoming up on a tenant farm early this century.
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Extra resources for All anybody ever wanted of me was to work: the memoirs of Edith Bradley Rendleman
20 The ICRR operated until the late 1960s; the MoPac still operated its branch line in 1995. Edith's life spans nearly the entire period of development and decline of the Wolf Lake area. She was born in 1898, just nine years after the town was platted, when most of the area was still in swamps and forests. Her parents' generation, born in the 1860s, had experienced the advent of steam-driven ma- Page 9 chinery, which replaced handicrafts such as spinning and weaving, and the hand thrashing of wheat.
I am deeply thankful to have been allowed to be part of the process of making this world accessible to a larger public. This book also would not have been possible without the help of a number of other people whose contributions I gratefully acknowledge. Ronald Rich and Elaine Rushing ran down many factual details, and Lee Roy Rendleman and W. P. (Bud) Rendleman assisted in many ways. Lester Lyerla was also helpful. Mark Wagner identified sites on maps; Professor Gary Kolb and members of the 1992 field school in ethnohistory and documentary photography at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale made copy negatives of Edith Rendleman's photographic collection; and the extremely helpful staff at the Research Photography and Illustration Facility, SIUC, printed the photographs.
She lent me this version in 1984. I made a photocopy, returned the book, and typed the manuscript into my computer. Around 1988 Edith's son Lee Roy turned a recliner upside down while looking for Edith's hearing aid, and the lost book with the first draft of her memoirs fell out. They lent it to me; I photocopied it, typed it into my computer, and returned the book and typescript. The two memoirs were very similar; in some cases stories were recounted almost identically in the two versions, while sometimes one contained more or different details than the other.