I can remember going to an all night restaurant and paying 10 cents for a cup of coffee, 20 cents for a LARGE order of fries, 25 cents for LARGE hamburger. Then I would go to a full service gas station and pay 20 cents for a pack of name brand cigarettes and 25 cents for a gal of gas, so we could cruise the main drag.
For ONE dollar, I could eat, smoke and drive. Wages were ok too. I was working at a factory getting $5.00 per hour and still living at home rent free. There are lots of fond memories of the 60s.
I can remember as a youngster, in the early 40s, there was a drug store in the city, we lived on a farm.
During the war the movie theater would let you in free if you brought a piece of scrap metal in for war drive. We usually had a quarter to spend, and bus fare was a nickle in each direction, so that meant a dime spent, and 15 cents left. So we would walk, about 7 miles to the theater, and back home to save the quarter for a Malt, that cost 20cts, and a nickle candy bar.
A quarter was a lot of money, in our family. Loaf of bread was 12 cents, milk 12cents a quart, and gas 11cents a gallon. We had a farm, ma baked bread and made most of the food, garden stuff, and butchered meat, from cow and pig and chickens. All seemed normal at the time.
My first job I earned 45 cents and hour in a Auto dealership, washing, greasing, and prepping new Plymouths and Desotos for delivery.
How I remember how envious I was when someone would come in to get their new cars.
Hard Time or Better Times?
I can remember using a little red wagon and taking stacks of old magazines to the scrap yard. I don’t remember how much we got paid, but know it was not much.
I also remember my uncle talking about picking up coal off the railroad tracks to heat their house during the depression years.
My how spoiled we are now days. But I sure did enjoy life back then. The world was a different place and people were a whole lot friendlier. Even little kids could feel safe walking down the street alone.
Ledger Showing Prices
From James Bullington
You wanted to know about prices from the past. I have a ledger dated 1953, that belonged to my stepdad, Lonnie Bullington. Here are some of the wages he had listed.
Working for Thomas Stroud:$6.00 for 8 Hours labor.
Working for Clyde Clouse:$8.64 for 8 hours labor.
Working for Chas Bersick:$10.00 for 8 hours labor.
Working for Lester Sprinkle:$10.00 for 8 hours labor.
Working for Ivan Daugerty:$12.00 for 8 hours.
Working for Lois King:$12.00 for 8 hours.
I also have an old pin that he wore. It has a number stamped on it, which I think was his automobile license number. If anyone has any information on pins of this type and can tell me the significance as to why someone would display their license plate number on a shirt or hat, I would appreciate it.
I remember years ago when Dr. Pepper had advertisements stating you could drink their product hot or cold. They also had the numbers, 10, 2, and 4 on their bottles. Does anyone remember what those numbers were for?
Response from Matilda
I remember that. They were times of the day to refresh with Dr Pepper. Personally, I think Dr Pepper is appropriate 24 hours of the day!
The most damaging phrase in the language is: Its always been done that way.
Admiral Grace Hopper (1906-1992)
Wartime Memories, From the Editor
Dr. Zo Simmons
This issue of U.S. Legacies magazine is our Thanksgiving edition. Thanksgiving, the day to gather with family and friends, and give thanks for what we have. As Americans we tend to be thankful for the house, the cars, the career, and other material items. I think we all have a tendency to forget to be thankful for the most important thing of all, our lives!
Months ago when I joined the staff of U.S. Legacies, I was also invited to join a WWII chat room group on America On Line. In the months since, I have had the most wonderful opportunity to speak with, interview and become friends with the most amazing WWII veterans. Tragically, a very good and dear friend of the group is in passing. Norm Shoemaker a WWII veteran filled our hearts and souls will laughter, friendship, and smiles. Norm, you are in our prayers and hearts. May God grant you the peace you so deserve.
As we sit around our table for Thanksgiving dinner, let us remember and give thanks to our veterans and active-duty soldiers at war today, if it were not for them, WE as Americans would have no life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness.
We are losing our WWII veterans at an enormous rate. If you are a veteran or family member of a veteran, I urge you to please sit down and take the time to share your story. Your experiences are the ones that cannot be taught in history books, on the Internet, or by the media. Only you can provide and share the truth with the children of today. Through your triumphs, children will learn, grow and share your stories and wisdom with generations that follow. Let them know the truth and share the honor and respect that is so rightfully deserved by all veterans.
The staff from U.S. Legacies would like to wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.
U S Legacies Magazine November 2003