Friday, January 15, 2010

Help with some story items...

I am working on a story about a family in a farming community, in Missouri, set in 1987. It is a fictional story, but I'd like my details to be accurate, of course. I am currently working on three events that I'd like your help on, if your memories can be taken back to that period - 1987:
1) An arts and crafts fair. One is for charity; another is for profit to the family doing it, perhaps on weekends, especially in the fall, but also seasonally year around.
What items would have been "hot" at the time, what would have been "standard" - especially, perhaps, hand-crafted, that might have been donated in the first case, or consigned, in the second.
2) A recipe exchange, or possible a community book. What are some recipes, simple better than complex, that might have been exchanged at that time, in that place?
3) My people in the story are about 100 miles from Branson, more toward St. Louis, and are talking about offering horse rides, trail rides, a mill tour, etc. Were these kinds of things likely to have worked, or even be profitable, in the timeframe, in that location?

I'm doing my research, in the literature, but this little survey is a part of that research. I'd love to hear comments; if you'd rather email me, that is fine, as well: billsmith2003 at will work just fine.


Families are Forever! ;-)


  1. Hello Bill

    I am not an expert on the area or the time frame but here is an idea:

    Go to ebay and search for church and community cookbooks from the year 1987. They will give you and idea of recipes if the seller has taken photos of some of the pages.

    As for craft sales, rummages sales - try Google Archive News - here is a link for classifieds from Missouri in that time period:,2991456&dq=missouri+branson+1987+rummage+sale&hl=en

  2. Thanks, Thomas. You always come through! Bill ;-)

  3. What I remember from 1987 was Ghost Busters was played regularly at our house on the DVD -fairly new toy. Sam played with toy wrestlers of the day, Gretchen with Peaches and Cream Barbie dolls.
    Cabbage Patch dolls were still big - could have imitation dolls at the craft fair. The Chicago Bears were also doing well.
    25% of homes had microwave ovens, so this kind of cooking would have been "cutting edge" then.

    This is what I can remember for now.

  4. THANKS, Becki! Those are really useful items! I really appreciate these specifics!
    Love the photos of your family! ;-)

  5. Yes Bill I was going to say Cabbage Patch Dolls also. Cabbage Doll clothing, bedding, beds, highchairs would have been big. And yes I have copied cabbage dolls that my great aunts were doing.

    Also crock pot dishes were popular--- everyone was adding too much liquid and stacking of the vegetables and meats were still a big mystery for many.

  6. Thank you, Ruth! Those should work well. I appreciate the input! ;-)