Anoka author continues ‘Baby-boom Sisters’ series

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

Anoka resident Barbara Thurston has written her second book, “Troubling Times for Baby-boom Sisters.”

Barbara  Thurston,  of Anoka, has  a second book  available for  purchase, “ Troubling  Times for  Baby-boom  Sisters.” Photo by  Olivia Alveshere
Barbara Thurston, of Anoka, has a second book available for purchase, “Troubling
Times for Baby-boom Sisters.” Photo by Olivia Alveshere

The book chronicles the experiences of Thurston and her younger sister, Evie Rosenow, from 1962 to 1967, picking up where her first book, “Childhood Adventures of Baby-boom Sisters,” left off.

The first book is full of short stories from Thurston and Rosenow’s childhood in Oak Grove Township in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

They had many adventures together, some in downtown Anoka, which looked a little different back then.

“My sister was my best friend,” Thurston said. “We’re still the best of friends.”

Rosenow was one of the book’s editors.

Thurston released her first book in 2012 and knew then that she would probably pen a sequel.

This second installment in the series highlights harder times in Thurston’s family life, as the title suggests.

Thurston’s father was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but she and her sister struggled to comprehend that he was ill.

“He changed,” she said. He seemed mean and oppressive, but not sick, necessarily. “We grew up fast.”

The writing process was healing in many ways, Thurston said. “I didn’t realize how therapeutic it would be.”

Her mother, Doris Boos, who recently celebrated her 90th birthday, comes off as the hero of the story, she said.

Whether a third book is in the cards for Thurston, who spent her career as a rural mail carrier before retiring in 2012, is still up in the air. It’s a firm “maybe.”

“I’m going to take a break for awhile,” she said.

When she isn’t writing, Thurston is spending time with her husband, Joey Norton; children, Bjorn, Anja and Erik; and grandchildren, Everett, Henry and Oliver.

She also serves as a liaison to the Anoka County Historical Board, sits on the Heritage Preservation Commission of Anoka and is active in the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Thurston and her cousin Laurie Mackechnie are sharing stories from their books in their third Anoka-Hennepin Community Education class, “Growing Up In Small Town Anoka.” The class runs in Anoka Sept. 28 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Registration is $19. To register, visit

Copies of “Troubling Times for Baby-boom Sisters” are available at the Anoka County Historical Society and through Thurston directly at [email protected] The new book is $12 on its own, and $20 with its companion.

Thurston will have books available at the Anoka County Library’s second annual Local Author Fair. The fair runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 30 at Rum River Library, 4201 Sixth Ave. NW, Anoka.

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