I was chatting (working if you see the Boss) with some friends at work and I mentioned that we'd have, oh, maybe thirty or forty family members together at family reunion time.

You know, Uncles, Aunts, cousins. We'd gather at someone's house, everyone would bring something to eat (and I mean everything from peanuts to turkeys) and the adults would share a bottle (actually a jug) of Mogen David wine (always Mogen David).

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The first response I'd get from the younger folks (pretty much all the folks are younger these days) was 'My gosh, how big of a family did you come from?'

Well, not a big immediate family, just mom and dad and my brother and me. But there were nine in my dad's family and eleven in my mom's, so that made for a big family gathering! And the perhaps interesting part is...almost all of them, all my uncles and aunts, lived within about a thirty-mile radius from where they grew up.

Yessir, the whole bunch grew up in the southwest corner of Minnesota, right there in the Edgerton/Chandler/Trosky area. And pert-near all of them stayed. Oh, a couple meandered out west, but the rest hunkered down to a great life just 'down the road a piece' from their childhood homes.

It seems like that's the way it was 'back in the day', for the generation that Tom Brokaw famously called 'The Greatest Generation', those that grew up living through the Great Depression and World War Two. Maybe it was because transportation wasn't so accessible or affordable as today, maybe they just didn't know about opportunities elsewhere in the big 'ol world.

Or maybe they just loved where they lived and what they had.

Whatever the reason, that's the way it was. They lived where they grew up. And now they're buried there as well.

How about you? How far do you live from where you grew up?


Randy's Minnesota Memories

Randy McDaniel grew up on a small farm near Leota, Minnesota during the classic baby-boomer years of the 1960s and 1970s. These are his stories of growing up in the idyllic world of southwest Minnesota.



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