A Return to the Roots of Childhood

Dec 15, 2005

At 68, Barb Fuller-Curry lives across the road from the farm where she grew up, in Whiteside County, Ill. In her youth, Fuller-Curry's father and mother took turns working the fields in order to make ends meet.

After raising her own family elsewhere, Fuller-Curry returned to the farm after 40 years to care for her mother, who passed away earlier this year. The house Curry lives in is one her parents built.

Speaking with her 34-year-old son, Craig, Fuller-Curry recalled the sacrifices her parents made -- and how little she thought about it at the time, when she was just 7.

Stories from the StoryCorps oral history project can be heard every Friday on 'Morning Edition'. Recordings of participants' conversations also go to the Library of Congress.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Here's another installment of StoryCorps, the history project that brings us audio snapshots of American life.

Today we get a glimpse into the life and times of Barb Fuller-Curry. She is 68 years old, and she lives across the street from the farm where she grew up. That farm is in Whiteside County, Illinois, and she's interviewed here by her son, 34-year-old Craig Curry.

Mr. CRAIG CURRY: When I come and visit you out in the country, every once in a while, a combine or a tractor will drive by in front of the house, and a lot of times, you'll cry when you see them. Why is that?

Ms. BARB FULLER CURRY: I cry because I'm so proud of how hard my mom and dad worked. When I was a young child, I didn't appreciate it, but I think I was in almost my 40s or 50s before I really realized the sacrifices that they made and what all it took. One spring I remember--I had to be maybe six or seven years old, somewhere in that age--and my dad was getting behind with planting the corn and soybeans. Of course, then there weren't lights on the tractors. And so he rigged up lights so that they could farm at night. And my mom is the one that did the farming at night. Daddy would work in the fields all day and come in for supper, and then Mom would go out to the field, and my dad would stay in with us kids. And I can remember after I'd had my bath, upstairs in the big old two-story house, we would go to the window and listen for my mom out in the field.

And I lost my mom in May, and I appreciate so much everything she did for me. My dad always said she was the best hired man he ever had.

INSKEEP: Barb Fuller Curry and her son Craig Curry, at a StoryCorps mobile booth in Chicago, Illinois.

StoryCorps is currently in Las Vegas and in Gulfport, Mississippi. And if you'd like to learn how you can share your story and have it preserved in the Library on Congress, just go to npr.org.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tags: