Once There Was A Farm

Once There Was A Farm

A Country Childhood Remembered

Book - 1990
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Nearly fifty years after she left the family farm of her childhood, Virginia Bell Dabney was compelled to write a memoir. She and her two sisters were raised on a Virginia farm during the hardscrabble years of the 1920s and 1930s. Her determined, independent mother managed to make a life for her family, despite hardships such as the Depression and a fire that destroyed their home. Although raised in a spare environment where leaky ceilings and cold winter nights were the norm, Dabney finds much to love, and to rejoice over, in her country upbringing: the wonder of hens laying eggs, the sensations associated with milking a cow, her warm friendship with her mother's black maid. The remarkable clarity of her half-century-old memories and her simple, unaffected tone bring this country childhood unforgettably to life.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c1990
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780394582115
Branch Call Number: 818 D 11o
818 D 11o


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Sep 18, 2014

In 1917, before Bell's birth, her parents bought a farm in VA. Her mother raised 2 daughters and Bell, born in 1919, there, while their father came from Chicago on vacations. He wasn't much of a presence, except to tell her to wash her hands before meals, and to keep quiet because he was reading. But she loved growing up on the farm, and as an adult found herself living on various farms. When she wrote the book, both parents were gone, and she had never thought to ask them why they'd made the move, when her father was obviously so ill-suited to living there. The child's voice is delightful.


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