Is Everybody Happy Now? by Shirley Skufc Hickman

Growing Up After World War II

In1945 when World War II ended, Shirley Skufca was nine. Two years later, she moved with her teenager sisters and their parents from Crested Butte to Gunnison. Only 28 miles apart, the two Colorado towns had little in common other than their high altitudes, bitter winter cold, and snow-covered streets and buildings.

Populated by Croatians, Italians, and a sprinkling of Germans, Crested Butte retained its Eastern European traditions, especially its Catholic faith. Miners were union men and staunch Democrats. In sharp contrast, Gunnison’s Anglo-Saxon ranchers boasted of generations living on the land and held fast to their Protestant faith and the Republican Party.

Shirley had never heard the words, culture shock, but after she moved to Gunnison, she was plunged into a world so different from the one she had grown up in, she wondered if she’d ever adapt to this new community.

During the next three years, she struggles to adjust and encounters successes and failures, but with the help of her new friends, she finds acceptance and happiness.

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