Well, we are halfway through the alphabet now, and to the letter "N". I got to thinkin' about the letter N and what could I write about, and all at once it came to me, (with the economy now in the toilet) what we used to could buy for a nickel back in 1941, when the economy was beginning to improve a little. I remember hearing the old song about the fellow who was living on the streets and begging for money. The song I am thinking about came out somewhere around 1930 (I think) and it went something like, "Mister, can you spare a dime?".
The question right now though, is, "What could you buy for a nickel in 1941?". I remember when a loaf of light bread was a nickel. We would walk to Ridley's store in New Town ( a part of Knoxville that we lived in) and buy a loaf for that. We expressed outrage when later it went to seven cents, and later on even nine cents a loaf.
One could also buy a cup of coffee at the Blue Circle for a nickel, along with a ten cent hamburger. Hot dogs, ready to eat, could be bought for a nickel as well. You could stop in at the Walgreen's drug store and buy an ice cream cone for a nickel. (That was when they had a soda fountain, and you could buy a Scarlet Nectar fountain drink for a nickel. Yum! those were really delicious!)
By the way, I turned eight years old in 1941, so I remember well what could be bought for a nickel. I did not get my hands on very many of them, BTW, so memories of what they could buy remain in my old noggin.
You could get a 12 ounce Pepsi Cola for a nickel as well. I remember a lot of radio jingles from way back. One of them went, "Pepsi Cola, hits the spot; twelve full ounces that's a lot, twice as much for a nickel, too; Pepsi Cola is the drink for you; Nickel, nickel, nickel, nickel." The Coca Colas were only 6 ounces for a nickel.
When you went to the grocery store, you could purchase along with your nickel loaf of bread, a hunk of bologna for just a nickel, and a big Baby Ruth candy bar for another nickel.
At the post office for a nickel, you could buy two 2-cent stamps and a penny post card.
Newspapers were three cents a copy, and you would get two cents back that you could buy enough candy to share with a friend. (They had penny candy, you know).
I know this sounds like a fairy tale, or some such thing, but not so. Money was just as difficult to come by back then as it is now.
Back in 1943, my brother, John, and I had done some chores around the house and it was close to Christmas. My mom, who along with my dad, were working regular again, what with the war effort, gave five dollars to John and me for spending money to buy presents from us to everyone in the family. By that time, my oldest brother was in the service, along with my next oldest brother, both serving in the Pacific Theatre of Operations. My oldest brother was married and had at least one child by then. We had another brother, Hugh, and a sister, Margaret. So there were a whole bunch of people that John and I had gifts to buy for, including each other.
John and I walked down to Washington Avenue and went into Schubert's five and dime to buy our gifts. We each had two dollars and fifty cents to spend. You should have seen us, checking the prices on each item we looked at. I know the employees there had a lot of enjoyment watching us (maybe a lot of worrying that we might shoplift something, too, who knows?). Anyhow, it was a neighborhood five and dime, so I am pretty sure they knew us. They went to the same church we did, too. Believe it or not, we found something for everyone in our family and maybe had a little change left over too. It was something for us both to remember for the rest of our lives. Now everyone is gone that would remember that, except maybe for my sister-in-law, Mae, who is Bill's widow. I am the last remaining sibling, and I really miss them. I am now the "keeper" of many memories we all had in common. That is one reason I want to share them with others, my friends and family.
Well, that is about it for today, folks. I look forward to reading your posts and 'catching up' on what I didn't get a chance to read yesterday. Yesterday was our day to go to Knoxville and spend a goodly part of the day with Mae and Imazo, Hugh's widow". This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you. Bye for now. More later.
P.S. We had an ice box instead of a refrigerator during those days, and the ice truck would come down the street, delivering ice. They supplied a card that the customer would put into the window to indicate how much ice the customer wanted. It had a number on each side of the card. If I remember correctly, it had the numbers like 15, 25, 40, and 50 or some such, and whatever amount you wanted, that was the number that you turned to the top. The fellow driving the truck would see it, and stop the truck, use the huge tongs to break the ice chunks apart and then use them to carry in the ice to put into your ice box. Even after we moved to the country, we had ice delivery, because we had no electricity for the first two years out here. My goodness, isn't it funny how much one can remember when some memories trigger others?
Well, I really am leaving now. Catch you later, you all.