The Civilian War Years

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Tom Young, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. Tom Young

    Tom Young Active Member

    Sep 4, 2019
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    How about a "Civilian War Years" thread...WW2... just about what we did, and did without. Like...

    Almost nothing went to the dump... All metal went to scrap... paper and cardboard recycled, and we all had outdoor garbage pails.. (galvanized bucket hanging from the garage corner).All edible waste went there, for Mr. Hickey to dump into his over the shoulder sack and then to the back of his garbage truck. We called it "swill"... and it was ground up an used to feed pigs. Back in the time when the moral conscience would never allow anything bad to go into the garbage.

    We burned all else in a wire burner in the back yard. We also had a "Rag Man" who used a horse drawn trailer. you could hear him three streets away, calling, "EEErayaaaaggs... Mom gave me an apple to feed to the horse, when we knew they were coming. And... a bread man. It was before the age of refrigerators (for us, anyway) and we'd put a little card in the corner of the front window, turned up to show what size ice blocks we needed for our ice box. Big event for us kids, as we'd chase the truck down the road to "steal" ice slivers.... something the iceman would alway manage to accidentally chip off the big blocks.

    Then the coal man... who would lift big baskets of coal, and drop the coal down the window in the basement, to the coal bin. Once in a blue moon, we'd get black anthracite.. the good coal, but being mostly poor, we usually got "coke" ... already burned once in the textile mills in our town.

    And Mr. Andrews... Our insurance man, who didn't have a car, but had customers up and down the streets of our town. Once a month... to collect the $2 payment for my dad's and my own Metropolitan $500 plans. He would always stay for a half hour to talk with my mom.

    Both my dad and my mom worked for the Lorraine Cotton Mills... the biggest employer in the area. Mom was a weaver, and worked days, while my dad was a loomfixer, who worked the night shift. Dad was exempt from the draft, as a civilian who was needed to produce material for the war effort. Later on, he worked for another company making parachutes.

    Remember "saving stamps" ? $.10 every Thursday and when you filled a "book", you got to lead the class in the "Pledge of Allegiance" for a whole week. Gordon Threlfall, led the class, mostly because his family had a little more money, and he would buy two or three "stamps" each week. ..

    Enough now, for starters. :)
    Bobby Cole likes this.
  2. Ed Wilson

    Ed Wilson Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2019
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    I was born in '42 and I remember all you mentioned but as a kid...coal man, milk man, ice man, rag man etc. Our rag man blew a horn. A farmer came through town in a horse drawn wagon and sold produce off the back. The rag man had a horse drawn wagon as well. Our street was still dirt then. We still had electric street cars to get to the towns up and down Main St. The Saturday movie matinee was 10 cents. My mother gave me 15 cents with the extra 5 cents for candy. My father worked in the mines producing your anthracite and got a job deferment as well. The bread man and insurance man happened to live on our street and were good neighbors. I had saving stamps.
    Bobby Cole likes this.
  3. Herb Sutton

    Herb Sutton New Member

    Dec 23, 2019
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    I was 7 that day when my sister came in and told me "the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor. I knew vaguely who the Japs were, but had never heard of Pearl Harbor.

    It was years later that I went to Pearl Harbor. Hawaii was not yet a state, the Arizona memorial had not been built yet.
    Lois Winters likes this.
  4. Lois Winters

    Lois Winters Greeter
    Staff Member Greeter Task Force Registered

    Oct 30, 2019
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    I was 8 and like you, had never heard of Pearl Harbor. I though Hawaii was a foreign country. My father informed me otherwise.

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