"Hindsight" is a photo project featuring the memories, insights and wisecracks of people aged 89 and older in the Carroll, Iowa area — touching on topics ranging from living through the Great Depression and staying married for 70 years to corralling escaped circus monkeys and more.
Pat Templemeyer, 89, and Don Templemeyer, 91, married 69 years
Pat: "He's always been there for me."
Don: "I love dancing with her — polka."
Pat: "I used to be kind of into things, like tree climbing."
Don: "We've been to all 50 states and about 26 other countries. Now we're making trips to Wal-Mart."
Helen Quinn, 89
"I saw a notice (in the 1940s) that they needed teleport operators in Florida because of the hurricane. I went right down to West Palm Beach, Florida. I have to say, I had no idea how the people were treated down South. And the conductor on the train, after I left Chicago, told me, 'You see that yellow line? Don't go across that yellow line.' I had never known there was such a thing. If the colored people went over on my side, they would — actually, I saw them throw them off a bus one day. And I started crying, because it was so sickening. I couldn't believe it."
Ethel Reiff, 92, and Ray Reiff, 91, married 70 years
Ethel: "I grew up in a family of 13, so I guess I was never, ever lonely."
Ray: "I was ornery and mean."
Ethel: "We met when my older sister was married."
Ray: "Yeah, that could be."
Pearl Quandt, 100
"Years ago, (around 1930), when I was on the farm with my folks in Charter Oak, we had a circus come to town, and one of the monkeys escaped. He came to our farm — we lived about two miles from town, and here he was in our tree. And my dad went and fixed a trap for that thing, and he caught it. And so he called the circus, and they wanted to give him $10, and Dad said, 'No, I need $15.' In those days, think, that's a lot. And they gave him $15."
Thelma Wernimont, 93
"There's a lot of things that have changed. Them days, you didn't flaunt anything. Now, you flaunt just about everything."
"Should I stick my tongue out?"
Elaine Dentlinger, 91
"There were nine children in our family, and we had a ball team. I played outfield, I guess."
"I wish I'd known more to speak up."
Alice Eischeid, 89
"Carroll got bigger. Oh man, I miss Jung's Bakery. Oh, it just had Long Johns and all the good stuff."
"We're playing Hearts — or is it Diamonds?"
Roger Hansen, 90
"My wife was a college beauty queen, and she picked me out of the crowd. Many girls thought I was quite the hunk in college. I'm not sure I know what a hunk is. My wife asked me to marry her. She actually did. I'd asked her 20 times, and she just wasn't ready, but all of a sudden, she was ready. She sent me a telegram down at Fort Leonard Wood and said, 'Making plans to be married Saturday. Call me collect tonight.' I called her and said, 'Who are you marrying?' And I said, 'I can't make it this weekend — how about next weekend?' She said, 'Fine.'"
Lil Schroeder, 93
"I'm not real sharp. Well, I shouldn't say I'm not sharp, because I am."
"Be honest. Because there's so much that isn't honest."
Mildred Ramsey, 102
"Going through the Depression, that was rough. The '30s were bad. I just remember a lot of people were getting a lot of food from the county. I can remember that. They had days that you could go up there and get sacks of cornmeal and I don't know what else. I can remember one woman went up to the courthouse and beat up on the person that was handing out the food. She grabbed him and went after him. Things weren't going right, I guess."