Sophie Hammes was born in 1917 in the very small town of Shopiere, Wisconsin. Her father’s successful cheese factory burnt down a few months before she was born. He then got a steady job at a dairy farm. Growing up in a rural community, Sophie remembers being quite the tomboy. She and her brother, who was two years older, were always getting in and out of mischief.
At the height of the Depression, Sophie remembers her mother traveling 50 miles to the larger cities of Wisconsin to buy less expensive groceries. Her mother was one of the first women that she remembers driving a car. She also remembers her older sister being away at college. The college provided luggage made especially for mailing home laundry, since there were no Laundromats. The laundry would then have to be mailed back to her sister at the college.
During World War II, Sophie’s family had to ration several of their necessities.
Sophie remembers her thoughts about the first landing on the moon. She thought Neil Armstrong’s famous quote, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” was one of the most poignant quotes that she’s heard.
Her advice to people of today’s generation is “Try not to hurt anyone.”