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Baby Boom Generation (1946-1964)
Date of Interview
Little Canada, Saint Paul, 1959
Oral History | Psychology
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dana Marie Rousseau is a Caucasian female born on September 16, 1959. She was an only child. Both of her parents had jobs. She grew up Catholic. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Rousseau begins by going into her grandparents and parent's upbringing, and her relationship with those individuals, mentioning how she went to her maternal grandparents house almost every weekend. She also goes into the family pets that they had, and how pets were treated in her neighborhood, whilst detailing what her neighborhood looked like with the variety of animals that were there. She mentions how she thought that her family was comfortable in their financial situation, listing how they were one of the only houses with two cars, and how her father was involved with a lot of sport activities and work trips. She discusses how she transferred from a Catholic private school to a public school because the nuns were leaving from the private school, and mentioned how this was around the time her parents got divorced. She goes into detail about what school looked like for her throughout the years. She continues by explaining how almost everyone went to church with their families, and how people would cut through a neighbor's huge backyard to get to school and church. Rousseau also describes how it was religiously strict. She goes on to describe what the neighborhood looked like, that there were a lot of outside opportunities for activities such as skating rinks and playing in the neighbors yards. Through this, she describes some memories of playing outside, in the gymnasium, and in the church, as well as how there was some rebelliousness such as rock throwing. She mentions the value of working hard, and how it was normal to discipline anybody - which as a result, normalized corporal punishment in school. She details the leisurely activities her and her peers did, such as spending a lot of time outside in the woods, riding bikes, sledding - emphasizing how almost everything they did was outside. Rousseau includes how they listened to music and would try to tan outside, as well as expand their friend groups during junior high and high school. Within this, she mentions how once they were 16, many of them got jobs in babysitting, farm work, and dining. Continuing on, she recalls some activities they would do in the summer, such as going to drive-in's, as well how there were a lot of keggers and parties in high school; mentioning how once the drinking age in Minnesota turned to 18, there were individuals who would go to a bar and drink during lunch, and then come back to school. She ends the interview by describing the local issues affecting the neighborhood. In this topic, Rousseau describes how she was young during the Vietnam War, so she didn't pay much attention to it. Additionally, she talked about how she didn't hear very much about poverty, and how there was an energy crisis - where public buildings couldn't have the temperature above a certain degree and how mortgage rates were really high. The last points that she discusses is how she didn't experience seeing a lot of nonwhite individuals as she was growing up, and how whilst there were discussions about the Cold War and Vietnam War, she didn't remember her parents or relatives talking about these topics or having any other political discussions.
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Luker, Julie M., "Dana Rousseau" (2022). Saint Paul and Surrounding Area. 27.