Just Folks Getting By Part 10

img_1994Weekly bus pass for 1937.  Lucille would have  needed only a dime ticket since she boarded at her job.

These are some of the things you may have seen advertised Below and how much food and groceries cost in the 30’s
Shoulder of Ohio Spring lamb 17 cents per pound Ohio 1932
Sliced Baked Ham 39 cents per pound Ohio 1932
Dozen Eggs 18 Cents Ohio 1932
Coconut Macaroons 27 cents per pound Ohio 1932
Bananas 19 cents for 4 Pounds Ohio 1932
Peanut Butter 23 cents QT Ohio 1932
Bran Flakes 10 cents Maryland 1939
Jumbo Sliced Loaf of Bread 5 cents Maryland 1939
Spinach 5 cents a pound Maryland 1939
Clifton Toilet Tissue 9 cents for 2 rolls Ohio 1932
Camay Soap 6 cents bar Ohio 1932
Cod Liver Oil 44 cents pint Wisconsin 1933
Tooth paste 27 cents Wisconsin 1933
Lux Laundry Soap 22 cents Indiana 1935
Suntan Oil 25 cents Pennsylvania 1938
Talcum Powder 13 cents Maryland 1939
Noxzema Medicated Cream for Pimples 49 cents Texas 1935
Applesauce 20 cents for 3 cans New Jersey
Bacon, 38 cents per pound New Jersey
Bread, white, 8 cents per loaf New Jersey
Ham, 27 cents can New Jersey
Ketchup, 9 cents New Jersey
Lettuce, iceberg, 7 cents head New Jersey

From The People’s History


Lucille rocked the baby as Jenny crocheted.   “Mama, one time we went someplace with two big stone lions standing outside the doors of a big building.  An old man picked me up and out me on one of them.  I felt like I was the biggest thing around.  Where was that?  Oh yeah, and remember, I cut my foot in that little wading pool!””

“Well, I say.  I never would a’thought you’d remember that.  That was in front of the library of a big old college in Dallas.  One day me and Uncle Melvin was lucky enough to get off together and we took you out together for the day.  I packed a picnic and we caught the bus and spent the whole day in the park.  You couldn’t have been three yet, ’cause we hadn’t been there too long.  It was a real nice late spring day, but not hot yet. You pulled your shoes off and waded in a little pool.  You did bloody up your toe a little on a sharp rock.  Lordy, you was a’howlin’ to high heaven.  I don’t know if you’d ever seen blood before.  Soon as Uncle Melvin tore a strip of hanky off and wrapped it, you was fine.”  Lucille chuckled.

“Do you remember, Uncle Melvin bought a kite from a man peddling them in the park?  It must have been a perfect day.  He had that kite all the way out to the end of the string.  I wanted him to get it back down.  I thought God and Jesus were going to get it!”  Jenny and her mother both laughed.

“I laughed till I nearly wet my pants.  You was a’runnin’ and yelling, ‘Don’t let God and Jesus git it!  Don’t let God and Jesus git it!’  Folks in that park must a’thought I was raisin’ a little heathen, for sure.  Whoever heard of a kid tangling with God and Jesus over a kite?  I’m so glad you reminded me of that.  I felt so bad about leavin’ you, but we had us some good times. didn’t we Honey?”

Jenny broke in, “Mama, I know you hated to leave me, just like I would hate to leave Lucy, but I didn’t miss what I didn’t know.  I looked forward to all those days out.  We went to the museum and the library and all the parks around town.  I really did love going to play at that little red-headed Peggy’s house.  She had a kitten and there were chickens in a pen behind the house.  Best of all was when we went to the movie.  You took me to all the Shirley Temple Movies.  The other girls at the Hope Home just love hearing about the movies.  Sometimes we had picnics and a couple of times we ate at the counter at Woolworth.  That must have been hard to afford that on your wages.”  Jenny looked deep in thought.

“I had three dollars a week after I paid your board.  I made sure I always saved at least dollar a week. I figured that would give us a start when your daddy got out. I manage to save nearly three-hundred dollars. Bus fare was a dame, exchanges a nickel.  Picnic food didn’t cost me nothing.  I couldn’t buy you clothes or toys, so I figured I’d spend a little money on you on our days.  It really didn’t cost me much to live.  I just needed a few stamps, a couple of dresses, a pair of shoes and a few toiletries from time to time.  That job was purty good to me.”






12 thoughts on “Just Folks Getting By Part 10

  1. All those prices sound cheap to us now, but back then people had so little money as the story shows.What we consider essentials were luxuries back then.
    BTW, confession time. I lost my way in the clouds – I couldn’t find my Kindle Cloud Reader after I closed it when I started reading your book. I know, it sounds so silly, but honestly I’m an IT neanderthal 😦 Finally yesterday I sat down determined to find my way. And I did. It is now bookmarked! Spent most of this morning reading Poke Salad. I will post a review once i finish it! Then I have another blogger’s book to read – Richard Ankers ‘Eternals’ has just been published and he too had a promotional free copy available for a few days.


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