Inside the yellow, two-story building that is the Beaches Historical Society, we listened to the story of life in early Florida. Michel Oesterreicher’s readings from her book, Pioneer Family: Life on Florida’s Twentieth Century Frontier, were powerful. Growing up, Oesterreicher heard stories from her parents about their childhood and growing up along the Florida coast where every day life was a struggle. No electricity, no indoor plumbing, days were hot and work was hard. With her parents succumbing to old age, the author recorded all of the stories told to her over a lifetime and was able to release the fear of never hearing them again. Transcribing the stories evolved into a book about the pioneers of early Florida, and the love and hard work that kept them together.
You will be moved by the stories. Stories of growing up, death, hurt, loss, the depression, snakes, ice, and fevers, but more importantly love. Love that fights for what is right, love that walks forty miles to court a girl, and love that continues by the author, who in by preserving her own family stories to share with her children and grand children has given them a great gift.
In a world where families are ripped apart by the smallest of problems and family history is disposed of like yesterday’s garbage, it is so reassuring and refreshing to hear the stories of families who fought and struggled through life, only to be together.
You will adore and cherish this book.