"Well, I remember standing on the ship watching as it pulled out from Copenhagen. And I suppose tears were running down my face. And a man who must have been in his 60s about came over and talked to me and wanted to know if I was traveling alone and where I was going. I said I had never lived with my parents, but I was going to my parents' in Nebraska. Well, he wanted to know where.
     "I said, 'Well, I don't know. It's west of Omaha.'
     "'Oh, well,' he said, 'Omaha is a nice big town. But if I knew how far?'
     "No, I didn't know how far west of Omaha. But I knew it was west.
     "He said, 'Well, if you're going clear out there, you'll never see the Atlantic again.'
     "Now, that didn't set very good…
     "No, I wouldn't even want to travel first class. Another young girl and I, we would sneak up to first class and see how they, what kind of fun they had because every other evening we had a show. A movie. And every other evening we had a dance. So we had to go up and see how they got along. Well, they sat around all dressed up, and they didn't have any fun at all. We knew some of them came down to tourist and had fun with us. They came from first class. They were allowed to do that, whereas we were not allowed to go up and go in on their entertainment. They could come to us. No wonder they came down to tourist because we had a lot more fun than they did up there. [Laughs.] …
     "I thought, well, maybe we would see something of New York. No, they whisked me from the boat to Grand Central Station and we ate dinner in Grand Central Station, got on the train and away we went west. And you know at that time, there was no air conditioning on the trains. Oh, it got hotter and hotter. It was in August. And I sat there and wondered how much hotter it could get and you'd still survive. [Laughs.] I remember thinking that. And I thought, what did I think? I was going to die before I got to Nebraska? [Laughs.] But I remember thinking that. How much hotter can it get and you can stand it? Because you know the train windows were open and the smoke in through the – "
     Question: "The smoke from the train engine."
     "Yes. Sure, because there was no air conditioning and you had to open the windows. It was so hot in August."
     Question: "And what did you think of Nebraska?"
     "Well, not much! [Laughs.] We landed south of Exeter, and they were much drier south of Exeter than they were down along the Blue [River]. And their corn just rattled. It was all burned up. They had no crop. So it didn't look very good. It was so hot and everything was burned up."

Carla Due – Immigrating to Nebraska


Other Excerpts from Carla Due's Interview:

Buzzed by Low-Flying Bombers
Barn Dances in the 1940s
The Stock Market Crash
RFD to Main Street
Banks Closing
Local Politics
The Eggs & Cream Economy
The World Economy
Surviving the Tornado
The Radio
Diversity of Churches
Immigrating to Nebraska
Learning English
Plowing with Horses & Mules