Uphill Both Ways

  • Helen Johnson


Prologue: My sister, three brothers, and I attend-
ed rural public schools in southwest Missouri

from the early 1940s through 1963. Our parents believed

that a good education would link us kids to the opportu-
nities in the world beyond our river valley farm, so they

supported the local public schools with their time, talents,

and treasure. Memories of the Great Depression and a

hard boyhood stayed with Daddy. He often said, Get your

education. They cant take that away from you. Daddy

was grounded in the realities of life. Mother was an ideal-
ist. Her expansive reading and writings opened windows

on the possibilities of life for us kids and for Daddy. Her

keen mind and imagination stretched all of us beyond

the limiting absolutes of our time and place. Our parents

unconventional pairing gave us children the expectation

that good things would come if we got an education, kept

our minds open, and worked hard. Our formal education

began at Eureka Elementary, a one room country school.

How to Cite
JOHNSON, Helen. Uphill Both Ways. ROOTSTALK | A Prairie Journal of Culture, Science and the Arts, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 2, p. 28-33, may 2016. Available at: <https://ojs.grinnell.edu/index.php/prairiejournal/article/view/337>. Date accessed: 21 sep. 2017.