Today is June 3, 2018, my Birthday, the 90th.
The world I knew most of my life has changed many ways. I grew up in the 1929 depression, the Real Depression. Banks closed, people (working types) lined up for food. We used and reused everything. We were fortunate. My father was a high school teacher and my mother a very fine piano teacher. We were close to a farming community so we had fresh food. People bartered services for food. Dad bought gunny sacks of potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage and whatever was available. We raised chickens from brooders to adults. Dad caponized many (we started out with 400 chicks) sold a bunch but kept enough for us. The hens gave us eggs and we had chicken every Sunday.
Postage, I recall, was 3c for regular mail, but airmail was 5c (reserved for emergencies) We had a small air field close to us (Felt’s Field) and every night at 10 o’clock the mail plane took off.
Then WWII came along. jobs really picked up. On Dec 7 ’41 we were guests of the Minister and wife for Sunday Dinner, celebrating Larry’s 5th birthday when the NY Philly was interrupted to tell of the attack. The world changed. I was 13 and in the 8th grade. My home chores included cleaning (vac & dust) the house every Saturday, and shop for groceries (balance the food money ($20 a week) and the ration points. Meat, canned goods, sugar, coffee, butter, etc. etc.) and have dinner ready by 6 PM. Mom had pupils until 6 and usually again at 7.
The phone system has changed. When I was very young (pre school) you picked up the phone and the operator asked for your number. My aunt (Mine) was a telephone operator before she left for the UW. She knew my voice when I called to see if Bobby John could play. I don’t know when the dial came into use. By the 60s? or 70s the touch tone came in. All outside (long distance) calls were chargable. My Dad did not tolerate charge fees, or pay to park. Now I have a cordless phone (actually 6 of them in the house) and no long distance fees. I also have a cell (for emergencies only). Electronics make me dizzy so I avoid it if possible. The young ones can handle electronic toys from birth. I really think many have lost the capabilities to communicate with people. They have their nose in their toy.
Cats I have known and loved.
Cats were always important to me. In my childhood they existed by luck. They received table scraps and a few birds, maybe a mouse ????. Their care was haphazard as I look on it now.
As an adult the first cat I had was for Xmas 1950. We were just married in Sept, and Frank brought home a kitten from the pound. She was Snookie (reg. name was Snikleficity). We had her for 15 years, and she was great. Our first apt was on a hill in the UW district (20th NE). When I came home on the bus from work, she was waiting for me on the roof of a garage on lower street level. She heard my walk before she saw me and would come to greet me. Six years later when we first had Becky she was very put out and jealous. But one day, maybe a couple of months later, she jumped up to investigate Becky, decided she was OK and was her protector. A stray cat came in and was about to go upstairs, Snookie whipped the stray until it escaped. She was a great cat I we loved her dearly.
She was soon replaced (I had to have a cat) by a lovely black, Sheba. And had Mitzie, a beautiful Calico. She had one kitten, had to be taken to the vet to save her and the two kittens she couldn’t deliver. But she became Aunt Mitzie to several other litters produced by SuLin a not very nice but gorgeous Persian. She had a lot and I couldn’t catch her between litters. Mirtzie would wash the babies, cuddle them and try to nurse (it didn’t work) That was 3 cats.
Then we had Sugar and Spice. Sugar was a beautiful long haired white and Spice was a short hair black. One day my Mother was visiting, and sat at the piano playing for about an hour, Sugar at her side on the floor, intent on the music. When Mom thought she wanted to go rest, Sugar took her back to the piano. Mom thought she was the smartest cat she had ever known. We loved both cats a long time, but they finally left us. I still had Spice when a friend of Mom’s at her retirement apartment wondered if I could take a cat that had to be taken as a stray. That was Sherman. He was taken to a vet by the owner of the ret Home, had him cleaned up, shots, etc. and was presented me with a lovely Tabby we had for 19 years. He was special, a gentleman. He greeted visitors at the door, in a group he would welcome each person. He saw me through some hard years. Lost Mom and Douglas. When he had to be put down (he had kidney failure) I was devastated.
NOTE: the above was a hand-written essay my mother never told me about. We found it clearing out her house after she passed away 6 April 2019. She had more cats than she told but I’ll leave her story as-is.
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